12 Pages


ByJames A. Clapp

Kowloon has a lot of people and a lot of everything else, too, especially neon. The neon proclaims the sale of cameras, watches, radios, suits, dresses, food, booze, and naked ladies dancing for our pleasure. A city is a place where a small boy, as he walks through it, may see something that will tell him what he wants to do with his life. Dubai discovered after 9/11 that its greatest asset wasn't oil but geography, defined not by the contours of any map but by the flying times of modern airliners. The crossroads of the Gulf sits squarely in the wide strip of longitude between the developed nations of Europe on one side and the Pacific's on the other, in what was once a time-zone dead zone between Frankfurt's bourse and Tokyo's stock exchange. The aerotropolis represents the logic of globalization made flesh in the form of cities.