Harvey Molotch Learning from gulf cities


Speaker: Harvey Molotch (New York University)

Discussants: Guido Guerzoni (Bocconi University);
Laura Lieto (Federico II University of Naples); Serena Vicari (University of Milano-Bicocca)


The rise of ‘showcase’ Gulf cities – like Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Doha – not only reconfigures parts of the Middle East landscape, they also challenge our prior understandings of how contemporary cities gain their shapes, sort their populations, and grow.

In this lecture, Professor Harvey Molotch examines how such cities can operate when usual conditions of urbanism are not evident. He inquires about presence or absence of such tried and true urban ‘forces’ as industrial agglomeration, cultures of productivity, serendipity, and civil participation. He explains how substitutes or ‘work-arounds’ operate to compensate for what otherwise would be deficiencies – including a lack of normal real estate markets.

Finally he suggests how to more generally “Learn from Gulf Cities” through tracing emerging impacts not only locally, but also on urban development elsewhere in the world.


Organization and information: davide.ponzini@polimi.it