Thursday, March 11, 2010

Can cities be manufactured?

While manicured urban dreams, Amby Valley and Lavasa, are attractive, they miss the energy that comes from the way people, work, fun and commerce enmesh into each other in cities like Mumbai and Pune.
Mumbai and Pune are overseeing the birth of two new cities growing in between their long, expressway-connected urban sprawl. These are Amby Valley and Lavasa. Both these urban dreams have been conceived in the mode of planned cities even though they have very different starting points.

One is an out and out imitation of American suburbia while the other uses very sophisticated rhetoric about new urbanism. The interesting thing is that they began with the idea of containing their membership, of controlling the process through which they would get users to come to the city, but may well land up eventually opening their doors. After all, no city in the world can afford to have gateways, no matter how exclusive the original intention.

The problem with cities that like to think of themselves in utopian terms ultimately find their unrealistic vision coming undone for three basic reasons – money, investment and sustainability

I wanted to share this story with you:

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