Examining the Gulf expands our understanding of how contemporary cities and urban societies come to be built and sustained. Repeatedly in our chapters, extremes and distinctions in the Gulf—heights of buildings, demographic incongruity, and the contrast of traditions with cosmopolitan ambition—offer up lessons applicable to other places. Gulf reality enlightens us about the challenges and tensions central to urban functioning more generally. These considerations point to the possibilities for achievement as well as cautioning against myopic excess. For those of us in the West (and other places too), we can take our findings (and method) from the Gulf and try them on for “fit.” We learn, as we anticipated in our opening chapter, that the classic urban theories—Marxian, neoclassic-economic models, or otherwise—do not always work. All the efforts toward a universalistic explanation fall short. We also see in a clear way that the doctrine of city-hinterland symbiosis, as inherited from past urban analysis, fails to come through. Chicago has been called “nature’s metropolis,”1 given that its natural surrounds provide a base for its industries (e.g., meat, ores, and grain). Other than oil, Gulf cities have no such regional symbiosis. Though geographically small, Abu Dhabi and Doha are near the peak of the urban wealth hierarchy, even as they lack significant manufacturing or agriculture sectors. As with Las Vegas before them, they do not arise from a productive hinterland. Again, we caution, Gulf cities are not isolated examples; they point to others. Stand-alone cities based on technology, recreation, innovation, and education now abound across the world.

Conclusion: From Gulf Cities Onward

d. ponzini
2019

Abstract

Examining the Gulf expands our understanding of how contemporary cities and urban societies come to be built and sustained. Repeatedly in our chapters, extremes and distinctions in the Gulf—heights of buildings, demographic incongruity, and the contrast of traditions with cosmopolitan ambition—offer up lessons applicable to other places. Gulf reality enlightens us about the challenges and tensions central to urban functioning more generally. These considerations point to the possibilities for achievement as well as cautioning against myopic excess. For those of us in the West (and other places too), we can take our findings (and method) from the Gulf and try them on for “fit.” We learn, as we anticipated in our opening chapter, that the classic urban theories—Marxian, neoclassic-economic models, or otherwise—do not always work. All the efforts toward a universalistic explanation fall short. We also see in a clear way that the doctrine of city-hinterland symbiosis, as inherited from past urban analysis, fails to come through. Chicago has been called “nature’s metropolis,”1 given that its natural surrounds provide a base for its industries (e.g., meat, ores, and grain). Other than oil, Gulf cities have no such regional symbiosis. Though geographically small, Abu Dhabi and Doha are near the peak of the urban wealth hierarchy, even as they lack significant manufacturing or agriculture sectors. As with Las Vegas before them, they do not arise from a productive hinterland. Again, we caution, Gulf cities are not isolated examples; they point to others. Stand-alone cities based on technology, recreation, innovation, and education now abound across the world.
The New Arab Urban: Gulf Cities of Wealth, Ambition, and Distress
9781479897254
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1126470
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