Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Anti-Aerotropolis update

My latest article for The Ecologist website is about aerotropolis projects: Aerotropolis alert! Airport mega-projects driving environmental destruction worldwide. An aerotropolis is airport centric urban development. Established and new airport are surrounded by commercial development which is designed to be aviation dependent. Greenfield (undeveloped) sites are preferred, inevitably entailing the loss of farmland and displacement of rural people, or the destruction of vast tracts of wildlife habitats including forests. Communities are largely excluded from planning and governance of aerotropolis projects, while corporations benefit from infrastructure provision and incentives including tax breaks.

Chapter 11 of my book Plane Truth: Aviation's Real Impact on People and the Environment is all about aerotropolis projects, in several locations in the US, Europe, Asia and Africa. Since the book was published it has emerged that aerotropolis developments are even more widespread than I realised, and several are at the larger end of the scale, allocated sites of 100 square kilometres or more. You can read the chapter here on Issuu:


Nearly two months ago I was pleased to announce the launch of the Global Aerotropolis Movement (GAAM). The GAAM website already has a few blogposts about aerotropolis schemes around the world, including in Cairo, Istanbul and Bhogapuram in Andhra Pradesh. A list of articles that are critical or the aerotropolis, both the concept and specific projects, is building up, to start to counter the deluge of industry information that presents the aerotropolis as an economic panacea. As well as checking out the website you can follow GAAM on Twitter and 'Like' the GAAM Facebook page for regular updates about aerotropolis projects and local campaign groups.

GAAM website



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