4 June 2016 – by Karl Tomusk
Imagine a world where countries have disappeared, their borders purged from a globe glistening with grids zigzagging from city to city. Cables and pipelines, railways and highways connect mass urban clusters that light up whole continents no longer strangled by hostile geopolitics.
It will be the age of the master builder. Their designs will either help usher in an era of peacemaking or will let the globe descend into uncontrollable slums steeped in conflict.
This is the world Parag Khanna, an international relations analyst and best-selling author, predicts in his new book Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization. “A century ago, people believed that trade interdependence between countries would lead to more stable relations, and yet the first world war did break out,” he says.
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The difference now is that on top of trade interdependence, we have more financial and supply connectivity from nation to nation, even between rivals. Hundreds of US companies from Apple to General Electric manufacture products in China, while about 40% of Taiwan’s exports go to the Asian superpower. The two nations once torn apart by the Chinese civil war now have hundreds of direct flights every week, where only 13 years ago not a single commercial plane flew between them.
In short, the wind is changing. And masterplanning and urban design have never been more powerful.
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