Wednesday, October 22, 2008

TROUBLE IN DUBAI

Geoff Manaugh, Dwell - Dubai, that instant city of over-wrought architecture and slave-like laborers, is apparently on the verge of a sewage catastrophe. The BBC reports that "raw sewage is flowing into the sea close to prime tourist beaches."

"There simply is not the capacity to deal with all the human waste the city dwellers produce," we read, and so illegal dumping of untreated human sewage is taking place in the open waters of the region.

This is the same week that architect Thom Mayne gave a speech at the World Architecture Congress warning about a looming "ecological disaster" for Dubai. "It might work today," he said, referring to the city, "but the prognosis is not good for the future. It's not going to work on many levels, from social to infrastructure and ecological. It's going to be a disaster in ecological terms."

The reason why, he suggests, is a retraction of the state from the day to day running of the city. Dubai is-along with cities all over the world-almost entirely privatized: "The political class is no longer in charge of cities. . . which means there is no planning." . . .

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