Leading cities expert says emergence of super-prime residential markets in cities around the world for helping create “dystopian” urban environments
A leading academic on global cities has criticised the emergence of super-prime residential markets in cities around the world for helping create “dystopian” urban environments.
Saskia Sassen, co-chair of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University, told the World Architecture Festival in Singapore that the emergence of luxury residential areas populated by a wealthy global elite was damaging many cities, citing London as the“number one example”.
Sassen, who said Asian cities including Singapore and Hong Kong were exhibiting a similar trend, said: “It’s the future for many cities and I don’t think it’s a good thing.”
She added: “I have two visions for the future of cities, one dystopian and one wonderful. While I am essentially an optimist, many of the current trends are bad.”
Sassen criticised the development of many cities as being solely focused on density: “We have a lot of stuff that is densely built terrain, but it is not a city. We’re in the business of building homogenous terrain - offices, residential, warehouses.
“We have to have a clear idea of what a city is. The cities we are building are not successful.”