The demands of the new globalized world have elevated cities to new levels of direct competition. While Shanghai and Hong Kong fight for who will be the financial capital of China, Dubai continues to challenge New York, Paris and London as the world’s leading global cities. The defence mechanism in any battle for supremacy comes naturally to almost all creatures in the animal kingdom – make yourself look bigger than your opponent. Puff up your chest, stand up on your hind legs, or raise your tail feathers. In the urban world, you built an icon. Proof of your position as a global city. Build the biggest and – most importantly – the newest icon on the market. But in an age when 15 minutes of (urban) fame has been reduced to five minutes, how can we overcome the inevitable? What will happen when another city builds something bigger, newer, by an even more famous architect? If something is created just to be an icon, can it ever really last?
In: Visionary Cities.
Graphics credits: João Amaral