I dislike suburban tract development, because it lacks architectural diversity. In Dubai 20+ story buildings are constructed, that look nearly identical. They’re also pedestrian unfriendly, and consume virgin land. In a country where wealth comes from the automobile it isn’t surprising this city is hostile to mass transit, and pedestrian based citizens.
The design of Dubai may prove more fatal, than American suburban design because of the cities poor urban planning. This city also has great potential to become one of the worlds poorest cities. Traffic is amoung the worlds worst, and city design is unmaintable if cheap oil (Dubai is in the Middle East) ends.
Let’s go back to Harlem, which became black and poor because to much real estate speculation, then in a rich and suburan area, caused a bubble. Harlem is now associated with poverty. Dubai has a huge concentration of poor foreign workers for construction and services. With so many poor workers, and a large amount of unoccupied residentential it may become another Harlem.
Photos from J. Rawls (top) Ryan Lackey (bottom)