Dubai in 1991...
Dubai & Shanghai development
Dubai local government
India's rapid urbanization
St Etienne: Cité du Design
Urbanisation 2008 to 2030
Urban ecological footprint
Green mega cities
Lessons for urban Britain
Gated community Alphaville
Issues facing megacities
India needs new cities
South Korean Intelligent Cities
Brasilia, Capital of Brazil
US built environment in 2030
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Dubai and Shanghai examples
...and 15 years later
China must learn
Author: Justin, Tel Aviv & Melbourne.
Submitted: 30 January 2008
Thank god! Someone has finall woken up to the absurdities of Dubai and Shanghai urban development.
I have been speaking these sentiments for some years now, it was almost as if you were reciting my thoughts.
You did neglect to mention of course Dubai's fantasmagorical 'the World' project, which is nothing less than the epitome of wastefullness and decadence - a throw back to Western planning culture now accepted as unsustainable.
How is it possible that China on the othet hand - with its fast paced development refuses to learn from the mistakes of the west - which we are now trying to rectify.
Take the Shanghai Deep Sea offshore port situated mid-ocean and connected to the city by a series of bridges spanning rediculous distances. The mind boggles at not only the amount of landscape degradation the port project required for its siting on the islands, and the waste of resources for the bridge construction - but the gasoline - how much gasoline is required to transport the goods arriving at the port!
On other pages
Cities are not the problem, but the solution in the battle for biodiversity
Disproportionate growth of the world's urban population could result in further loss of many forms of life on Earth, warn experts in the sciences of climate change and biodiversity. Nearly 200 years ago, London was the only city in the world with more than one million people. Today, across the globe, there are more than 400 cities of at least that size.
While these cities occupy only two per cent of the planet's surface, according to the United Nations report, World Population Prospects, their residents are responsible for at least 75 per cent of the resources consumed by the global population, including a huge quantity of fossil fuels. Climate change is one of the main forces responsible for the enormous loss of biodiversity on Earth, say scientists specialising in these fields. Long-term changes in average temperatures can dramatically alter the habitats that provide life support for plant and animal species. With more than 3.2 billion people residing in the cities, for the first time the world's urban population now exceeds the number of those living in rural areas.
Since their appearance on earth, human beings have never destroyed the web of life as much as during the past 50 years, according to the UN's Millennium Ecosystem Assessment report. It shows that before the industrial era, nearly 47 per cent of the Earth's land surface was covered with forests; today the planet is left with only 10 per cent of that.
"We are consuming more natural resources than can be regenerated," says Ahmed Djoghlaf, executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. "We are living beyond the means and capacities of our planet." More