The Loneliest Jukebox

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Let's build!

I like Strelka Press e-books, but their authors don't seem to like Dubai. Owen Hatherley calls ‘the super-European programmatic plan of Tsarist St Petersburg’ an ‘eighteenth-century Dubai – a geographically improbable project in a brutally hostile climate constructed on the orders of an absolute monarchy by the labour of serfs’ (Loc:70). Julia Lovell thinks the Emirate is addicted to verticality.

Yet both authors would probably recognise that there's some planning gone into Dubai Municipality. Those who present Dubai as an unplanned urban jungle get a hard time in my new publication. 'A Model without a Plan: Dubai and the Misconceptions of Its Critics', in Austin Williams & Theodoros Dunas (eds.), Masterplanning the Future - Modernism: East, West & Across the World (2012), pp.153-158 (ISBN 978 1 903094 013) is available now.