The Dream and Nightmare Of The Asian Megacity

“The United Nations says that by 2010, some 18 of the world’s 30 largest cities will be in Asia (compared to only three from Europe and North America). In the region’s new megacities, height is might, speed is wealth, density is power, and the skyscraper — that American symbol of modernity — grows on steroids and is colonizing the sky.” Trying to define these supermetropolises as good or bad, dangerous or progressive, is useless, and misses the point in any case. Any organism as huge and complex as a city cannot be reduced to such platitudes, and the startlingly fast growth going on in Asian cities provides plenty for urbanists of all stripes to marvel and shudder at.