Future Cities: Vertical > Horizontal

ImageOrdos, China: The Kangbashi district, empty town meant for one million people

With major concern given to population growth throughout the world, our urban environments of the future tend to rest heavily on the issue of vertical development as opposed to horizontal.  On paper, this solution seems to have a strong base of logic.  However, the solution fails to take into account the well-established way of life our species has come to know, and for better or worse, love.  Also, in our ascent to grow taller cities we seemingly have lost sight of our necessity to connect with the outdoors.  To expect the same feeling when standing hundreds of stories above the earth as standing with two feet planted firmly on the ground is just preposterous.  Proposals such as the development in the Kangbashi district for a cluster of high-rise residential buildings show ignorance to the way in which people actually live their lives, and in fact suggests that economic interests out-weigh societal interests.  In addition, the vacancy of these residential units illustrates just how off target, wasteful, and truly unsustainable a planning scheme of this magnitude can be.  If vertical cities are the way of the future, attention must be given to the fact that even though technological means rapidly change we as a society are slow to change.

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