Aerotropolis quotes

Here are a few quotes by critics of aerotropolis projects.


Jeff Lewis, Aviation Impact Reform

Aerotropolis is the aviation equivalent of Walmart. Each new project is conceived in a boardroom, then implemented with a mountain of financing and political leverage. Sometimes, darker tactics are deployed (e.g., kickbacks, bribes, threats, etc.). Once the development is done, you have a monstrous economic engine quickly draining the life out of hundreds of older family businesses (and, often doing so while receiving huge tax waivers and other public subsidies). Sure, the new monster creates a few new jobs (after destroying more than a few old jobs), but the new jobs tend to be mostly at the lower end of the wage spectrum. Just as with other self-serving, cronyistic adventures, with airport projects a scant few get filthy rich.


Debi Wagner, author Over My Head

I read Kasarda’s book “Aerotropolis”, ‘The Way We’ll Live Next’ a few years ago and there are a few things that struck me.  Because aviation emissions are such an obscure set of facts, people like Kasarda don’t understand how deadly it is to put an airport into the middle of intensive development.  Cancer, lung disease, learning impairment, DNA damage are but a few of hundreds of expected negative effects that are predicted and observed for people living near airports, especially in the one mile area which is exactly where Kasarda advocates focusing development.
He also talks about the need for speed in our global economy so things like tulips bought at auction in the Netherlands can arrive at the table of a New York hotel within hours of purchase.  There are billions of gallons of jet fuel being pumped into planes and then combusted near neighborhoods and over the heads of millions of people all over the world.  These emissions are laden with toxics, organics, metals, aerosols, black carbon, PAH, some of the deadliest compounds known to man.  The greed behind the need for speed that drives Kasarda’s absurd model of global economic prosperity is nothing more than the barter of trading your health for their wealth over things as trivial as tulips, tuna and tourists.

Miki Barnes, President of Oregon Aviation Watch

The aerotropolis model is the antithesis of this time honored approach that has nurtured and sustained human life for many thousands of years. It is essentially a cold, mechanistic, and materialistic model that values machines and technology over the betterment of the human condition. Green spaces and prime farmland are viewed as aviation related development opportunities. It is telling that the majority of stakeholders interviewed for this report were corporations and government officials who have historically placed profit margins above and beyond all other considerations.

The airport city concept is based on the idea that communities should organize their lives around the loudest, noisiest, most toxic and aggressive bully on the block. Is this really what passes for responsible civic and environmental planning in Portland, Washington County and the State of Oregon?


Rose Bridger, founder member of GAAM and author of Plane Truth: Aviation’s Real Impact on People and the Environment

Kasarda, the most high-profile proponent of the aerotropolis, was right when he described this new urban form as ‘the physical incarnation of globalization’. The aerotropolis provides physical infrastructure, along with the supporting regulatory framework, for turbocharging corporate globalisation. Heavy-handed, centralised planning of an unprecedented magnitude supports the relentless drive for corporate dominance and profits, resulting in widening inequalities, worsening poverty and ruination of ecosystems.


ruination of ecosystems.

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