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The rise of the aerotropolis: International cities and business hubs built around airports

Excerpt from Washington Post

Jan 05, 2013 1:48 am

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Historical transportation trends suggest that airports will soon be the rivers and railroads of the past with a region’s primary business hub being built up just minutes away from a global airport.

— Samantha Shankman

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Redjef  / Flickr.com

Songdo, South Korea is a aerotropolis -- a city built around an airport. Redjef / Flickr.com


What is an aerotropolis? At its simplest, it’s a city built around an airport. Instead of sticking an airport on the outskirts of an existing city, building a city around the airport allows for faster movement of goods and people. And as Greg Lindsay, co-author of “Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next,” argues, in the era of globalization, efficiency is paramount.

“Cities have always formed around transportation — ports and harbors and then train stations,” says Lindsay, pointing to Boston, New York and Chicago as examples. “Air travel is the only way to connect globally, and now, more frequently, cities will grow around airports.”

In 2001, the South Korean government approached the New York-based firm about developing a city that, by virtue of its proximity to the newly opened airport in Incheon, would attract multinational corporations and potentially turn the region into the world’s gateway to northeast Asia.

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