An Aerotropolis for Edmonton

Will airports become the "anchors of 21st century development," as Prof. John Kasarda believes? Kasarda spoke in Edmonton, Alberta, where planners are considering developing airport-adjacent greenfields into dense development.

Reporter Bill Mah writes, "Increasing numbers of non-aviation firms are clustering in and around airports because of the access, speed and agility that airports provide to the new economy. The migration is transforming city airports into 'airport cities.'"

Edmonton planning director Ken Woltt says that planning the area around the airport should be done very deliberately. "There will be undoubtedly be development around the airport, and we want to do it the best we can," Woitt said.

Full Story: Edmonton International has the potential to spin off a city-within-a-city



Really? We're taking Kasarda seriously?

His background is in entrepreneurship and commercial development, not planning or policy. Additionally, he runs the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, which trumpets the promotion of globalization and laissez-faire regulatory policy. I've heard him speak on the aerotropolis concept more than once, and every time he's asked about the economic sustainability of a transportation model that is arguably the least sustainable at a large scale, he punts on the answer.

The sensible approach to sustainable economic development is one that decouples existing transportation and land use development patterns, not one that turns the dial up to 11.

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