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Guided Organic Growth: A Paradigm Shift in New City Making

March 24, 2022 @ 10:30 am - 11:00 am

By Heba Elhanafy, Charter Cities Institute |

Planning is a discipline of shifting paradigms, from the functional modern city to the rational-comprehensive approach, to the current return of place. But how has (or will) the discipline shift in response to the rise in recent decades of new city building around the globe? With at least 100 new cities in conception or under construction in India; dozens more under way in each of Southeast Asia, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America; and over 600 new cities currently either being designed or being built in China—the answer to this question will affect the lives of potentially millions of individuals. As it stands, most new cities built recently or currently being developed are over-planned. Currently, urban plans often follow either the Chinese-grid planning paradigm or an American-suburban model. Those approaches leave little to no space for local adaptation, emergent market forces, and the agency of residents’ to shape their cities over time. New cities can be an excellent opportunity to inject urban economic vibrancy, solving market failures, and unlocking innovation. However, until a deliberate shift occurs in the planning paradigms of these new city developments, they will continue to suffer from common challenges. This paper aims to rethink new city making in the Global South and suggests a definite need for a paradigm shift. It conceptualizes a paradigm with three main principles and examines the possibility of more community and bottom-up approaches in new city developments.


March 24, 2022
10:30 am - 11:00 am
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Arbeitskreis Geographische Stadtforschung im Entwicklungskontext


Transient Spaces and Societies