Saturday, 5 September 2015

Another aerotropolis update

Its September and I'm getting round to posting about things that happened in July and August...

Epic ecocide continues for construction of Istanbul's third airport, but the campaign to stop the eco-massacre, and the integrated megaprojects - a canal and third bridge across the Bosphorus Strait - it is part of, is amazing. It is co-ordinated by Kuzey Ormanlari Suvanmasi (North Forest Defence), information about the third airport campaign is in this section, and there is some information in English here. The airport is actually a 'Trojan horse' for an aerotropolis, on a vast 77 square kilometre site. Here's my article in The Ecologist about it - Campaigners resist destruction of Istanbul forests and wetlands for airport megaproject. The article was also published by Truthout and here on the Kuzey Ormanlari Suvanmasi website, with three videos that provide an extraordinary record of what is taking place. It is rare for the reality of obliteration of ecosystems for a truly gargantuan megaproject to be exposed like this.

Global Anti-Aerotropolis Movement (GAAM), the new organisation I am a founder member of, published the first issue of GAAM Aerotropolis Update, a round-up of aerotropolis developments around the world. It raises issues of large scale land allocation for aerotropolis schemes, and resistance against this, and subsidies such as tax breaks. Compilation of information for the second issue is underway. There is more content on the GAAM website now, some reports and articles that are critical of aerotropolis projects - hard to find in the deluge of industry information that presents these schemes as miraculous economic engines' for host communities, and some quotations from aerotropolis critics.

Plans for a mini aerotropolis have emerged right on my doorstep here in Yorkshire. An 'airport village' comprising shops, hotel, and and industrial park is planned on greenbelt land, currently used for farming, adjacent to Leeds Bradford Airport. As with all aerotropolis projects the objective of the commercial development is to support the airport's growth. Here is a blogpost about it on the GAAM website. And this a map showing the area in question (within the red line).

 I'm quite pleased with the GAAM logo - not bad for a couple of hours playing around on Powerpoint and a few graphics programmes. If you compare this logo with the standard aerotropolis schematic (a standardised template is used for aerotropolis projects worldwide) you might notice a crucial difference - aside from the no entry sign and the plane superimposed on the image.


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