New city categorization

Wade Shepard, a journalist who writes on new cities has an in Forbes which describes some of the challenges in categorizing new city projects.

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Wade Shepard, a journalist who writes on new cities has an article in Forbes which describes some of the challenges in categorizing new city projects.

When emerging markets step onto the global stage they are often clad in new cities. From China to India to the Middle East to North and Subsaharan Africa, markets are rebranding themselves as modern, international and investment-worthy by building shiny new metropolises in droves. Indonesia has 28 new cities in the works, Morocco is building nine, while even little Kuwait is at work constructing 12 new cities of their own. As I write this, Oman is building Duqm—a new urban colossus two and half times the size of Singapore—out in the middle of the desert, Palestine is throwing up the towers of Rawabi, and developers in South Korea’s Songdo are proverbially looking down from the windows of their skyscrapers upon the new city of 120,000 people they built successfully from scratch on reclaimed land.

The challenge in categorizing new cities is that there doesn’t exist a standard for defining cities. For example, sometimes a single city can have multiple administrative areas, like the Washington DC metropolitan area, or an administrative area can encompass multiple cities, like Chongqing.

Wade Shepard identifies five important qualities for new cities; 1) master planning, 2) multi-use, including residential, 3) economic drivers, 4) physically distinct from other urban areas, and 5) distinct identities. I would, however, caution, that new cities do not, and in fact most aren’t master planned.