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May 30, 2021  |  permalink

El Pais: Tech moguls bet on the city of the future: private and with its own rules

El Pais’ Los Angeles bureau chief Luis Pablo Beauregard was kind enough to quote me in Spain’s newspaper of record in his story on the tech moguls and bros toying with creating cities from scratch (translated from the Spanish):

Analysts have warned that tech moguls may now take an interest in urban planning. “Frankly, many of these projects have no interest in the urban experience. The main interest is government, particularly the more libertarian variants of the style of governance that seek to get rid of the greatest amount of regulation, ”says Greg Lindsay, director of research for NewCities, an organization focused on urbanism, planning and sustainability.


These projects have given new life to the debate about what cities are for, a discussion that has added new arguments after the coronavirus crisis and where the virtues - and disadvantages - of remote work have been exposed. “Should cities and their authorities provide for those who arrive or serve the population they already have?” Reflects Lindsay, who believes that authorities should be cautious with this type of utopian development. “Many of these projects want to subvert local governments. The goal is to capture the benefits of being outside a local model, or even federal, while forcing the neighbors to take the worst part, in the form of pollution, crime or displacement of the premises,” adds the expert.

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Greg Lindsay is a journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He is the director of applied research at NewCities and director of strategy at its mobility offshoot CoMotion.  He is also a partner at FutureMap, a geo-strategic advisory firm based in Singapore, a non-resident senior fellow of The Atlantic Council’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative, and co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next.

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