This past weekend, I wrapped up a totally engaging book entitled, Aerotropolis: The Way we’ll Live Next by John Kasarda and Greg Lindsay. If there is a single, definitive book on the topic of transportation planning for the first quarter to half of the 21st century, this one is it.
Given how nearly every aspect of the planning profession is impacted by transportation, every planner would be well-served by reading this outstanding publication. Written in a delightfully non-textbook style, Aerotropolis will whisk you away:
- to the far reaches of the globe, where new Asian mega-cities are being designed and built around airports;
- to the monumental, mechanized, behemoth, parcel-sorting skyports of Memphis (Fedex) and Louisville (UPS);
- to the broken and abandoned dreams of Wilmington, Ohio;
- to the fragrant flower markets of Amsterdam and fish markets of Tokyo;
- to a hope for an economic panacea in the Motor City;
- to gargantuan airports sprawling across the Texas and Colorado prairie; and
- to numerous other points circling the planet that document a bright future based on aviation.
There are so many useful details and informative facts in the book, that I could not begin to summarize them or give them due justice in this blog post. The single most critical point the book makes is that in our brave new world of global economic competition, it is not longer a case of “survival of the fittest.” Instead, it is “survival of the fastest.” That rule does not only apply to businesses, but also places — in fact, it applies to nearly everything.
Suffice it to say there are few books that can be considered the authoritative and definitive accounts in their specialization – Aerotropolis is certainly one of them.
“Fasten your seatbelts, ladies and gentlemen, we are prepared for takeoff.”