John D Kasarda is an advocate of the theory of ‘airport cities’. The theory, better known as Aerotropolis, has an airport as the central figure in the commercial development of an urban city with the population and business revolving around it—much similar to the ancient concept of planning cities around ports or crossroads.
The distinguished professor of management and director of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School says that cities built around international airports are better positioned for global trade and competitiveness. “The role and development impact of major airports are changing dramatically, and those in Asia are leading the way. A reason behind this development is that major airports here are much newer than most of those in the West with many located on large greenfield sites that are surrounded by a considerable amount of developable land. These permit city planners and developers to leverage airports’ new role as multimodal, multifunctional commercial development engines attracting businesses,” he elaborates.