Cities of the future


Via the indomitable JM Heinrichs, have heard about this one, and here’s a great article describing a place called New Songdo in South Korea – literally they’re building a whole freakin’ city from scratch… on a man-made island.

Gee, wonder how Julia’s carbon tax would go on that one… and Korea thanks Australia for the iron ore, coal, gas, and uranium regardless.

This used to just be a marsh. But, by 2015, the unlikely partnership of a New Jersey office park developer and the South Korean government will have transformed it into a bustling, LEED-certified, metropolis the size of downtown Boston. Could this become the city of the future? In Aerotropolis, we see how this prefabricated city came to be.

Stan Gale was exultant. The chairman of Gale International yanked off his tie, hitched up his pants, and mopped the sweat and floppy hair from his brow. He beamed like a proud new papa, sprung from the waiting room and handing out cigars to whoever happens by. Beckoning me to follow, he sauntered across eight lanes of traffic toward his baby, New Songdo City, delivered prematurely days before.

Ten years ago, Gale was a builder and flipper of New Jersey office parks. But his fate began to change in 2001 with a phone call from South Korea. The Korean government had found his firm on the Internet and made an offer everyone else had refused. The brief: Gale would borrow $35 billion from Korea’s banks, partner with its biggest steel company, and use the money to build from scratch a city the size of downtown Boston, only taller and denser, on a muddy man—made island in the Yellow Sea. When Gale arrived to see the site, it was miles of open water. He signed anyway.

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