Play the City reports about the conference “New Towns, New Territories”, New players in Urban Development, coordinated by the International New Town Institute (INTI) in collaboration with the Nederlands Architecture Institute (NAI), location of the conference.
New Towns New Territories Conference focuses on the four latest new towns started from scratch as perfect examples of “global urbanization, privatization and new organizational models of urban development”.
The subtitle “New players in Urban Development” refers to how private companies are being responsible for the development in these new cities not only in terms of building but also introducing new governance, trying to create a new community and modifying inevitably the existing environment before their arrival. Consequently such private parties gain more power over communities than actual governments.
The elected cities for the conference were: New Songdo, Korea (City in a Box); Strand East, United Kingdom (City as a Community); Lavasa, India (City as a private Enterprise); and PlanIT Valley, Portugal (City as a Laboratory).
In her short introduction Michelle Provoost, director of the INTI invited us to pay attention to more than 100 new cities, built in the last years only in China and India. Provoost alerted about how cities get built for economic rather than demographic reasons. She also remarked on how the cities started from scratch in the 50's were built for lower classes while new ones are thought for upper classes. For finishing the introduction she raised a question to the audience: “Are cities becoming standardized and replicable?” and concluded that the development companies’ goal is not always to reach “adaptable, customizable cities, depending on the context”.
In following posts we will report on New Songdo, Strand East, Lavasa and the interesting final debate.