The Future Of The East Asian Cities

Joel Kotkin consider whether the world's largest cities in East Asia have hit their growth limits.
December 7, 2004, 9am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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Four of the world's largest metropolitan areas — Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo — are [in East Asia], as well as eight of the 10 tallest buildings... The effects of sudden affluence and extremely high population densities — three or more times greater than New York — have undermined the Confucian values that were the foundation of these cities.

...Despite their remarkable successes, however, the future of East Asian cities is not promising. The prolonged emptying-out of rural villages and small towns has eroded the family-oriented Confucian value system that animated first-generation migrants to the city.

At the same time, the soaring price of land has eliminated the hope for all but a few of acquiring anything spacier than a cramped apartment. Private homes have been replaced by huge complexes of high-rise apartments, some located an hour or two from the city center. Blocks of suburban apartments can extend as far as 50 miles from historic cores."

Thanks to Chris Steins

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Published on Tuesday, December 7, 2004 in The Los Angeles Times
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