There once was a time when designing new cities was one of the most ambitious and urgent tasks for any urban designer and planner. The second half of the twentieth century saw a plethora of new models, ideas, and designs specifically geared towards the design of the ultimate ‘City of the Future’. The construction of entirely new integrated urban systems and the writing of technocratic and ideological books on how to build new cities culminated in the building of hundreds of New Towns in Western Europe, the US, and the new nation states of post-colonial Africa and Asia.
It took awhile before Western design firms could believe that the building and design market in Asia was serious business, and also to come to grips with the ambition, scale and speed of development. By now they understand and are trying to pick some cherries from that trillion dollar tree; the more so now their home markets are slowing down or worse. ‘Going East Asia’ these days is not ´only´ about delivering housing quarters, railway stations, airports, fiber networks, waste water treatment plants and what not; it extends to the delivery of complete cities. It’s already been a long time that the West has been confronting the ‘building a new town’ theme, but today it is a business opportunity.
With Volume #34 we present the latest in New Town development: the city as enterprise. On Friday January 11th we launched the new issue at Athenaeum in Amsterdam. Click here for a photo series that was published on Facebook.
For the next issue of Volume we will be partnering with the International New Town Institute (INTI) to explore new players in urban planning. In addition INTI will be hosting a conference on September 27th in Rotterdam, exploring this topic through four case studies, with invited speakers from around the world.