By connecting itself to its neighbors and the world with an easily accessible international airport, Songdo capitalizes on the connectivity that makes cities vibrant, write Lindsay and Kasarda.
"'They tracked us down, wanted us to build a city in the ocean, and no one else was interested,' Gale told me, still dazed. 'Their vision scared everyone else away. It wasn't until I saw the airport that I understood where they wanted to go with this.' Where they wanted to go was China. His sales pitch to prospective tenants is simple: move here, and you're only a two-hour flight away from Shanghai or Beijing, and four hours away at most from cities you've never heard of, like Changsha. Chairman Mao's hometown happens to be larger than Atlanta or Singapore. Nearly a billion people are just a day trip away. When Stan Gale looks at a departure board, he sees a treasure map. And when he gazes upon his creation, he sees dozens of potential new cities, each next to a dot on that map. These cities-to-be even have a name, which Gale pronounces for me with a flourish, an 'aerotropolis.'"