| and good bye Jane Jacob, and Gods of Small Things
This month, as in the past five Decembers, the magazine looks back on
the passing year from a distinctive vantage point: that of ideas. Our
editors and writers have located the peaks and valleys of ingenuity —
the human cognitive faculty deployed with intentions good and bad,
purposes serious and silly, consequences momentous and morbid. The
resulting intellectual mountain range extends across a wide territory.
Now it’s yours for the traversing in a compendium of 74 ideas arranged
from A to Z.
“Make no little plans,” the architect and urban planner Daniel Burnham
wrote a century ago, “they have no magic to stir men’s blood.” For the
last four decades, however, little plans have been the signature
creations of the American city. Ever since 1964, when Robert Moses, New
York’s master builder, was prevented from blasting a freeway through
SoHo, the most successful urban-design strategies undertaken by large
American cities have been essentially conservative. Jane Jacobs’s
crusade against architectural master plans, combined with a growing
historic-preservation movement and the fall of heroic high modernism,
led to a generation of planners, architects and activists intent on
restoring, rather than drastically reshaping, the urban fabric.
In September, Bangkok witnessed the opening of the Suvarnabhumi Airport,
which when finally completed will include virtually all the components
of a major metropolis: shopping malls, office buildings, hotels,
hospitals, an international business center, conference and exhibition
spaces, warehouses and even a residential community. Traditionally, of
course, airports have served cities, but in the past few years airports
have started to become cities unto themselves, giving rise to a new
urban form: the aerotropolis.
(and the return of the corporate state, if you want, read on)