I can't be the only person who's bored to death with videos like the one here, screenshot'd above, for the Nanocity deveopment north of New Delhi, can I? Obviously, the presentation, with its sweeping aerials and zooming close-ups of crystalized placeholders for buildings is intended to impress.
After Masdar, and the Palm Islands, and that insipid Koolhaas Death Star development, these "impressive" videos have become mundane, commonplace. There is the slight tweak to the trope, in this case, of the development's being located in India. Still, knowing what little I do of India's wild and dynamic culture, the change of location actually generates more disgust for the project. Here is a sanitized, plagiarized version of Next Generation Urban Density™ for yet another developing country.
The most irksome thing about these kind of developments is that they completely ignore existing infrastructure. Why not propose a radical rethinking of actual New Delhi neighborhoods by drawing on Indian cultural and building traditions? Dubai is a lost cause, but India has no need to go down this road. In twenty years these generic ecocities are going to look like 1960s housing projects in the US look now: like a terrible, horrible, no-good very bad idea. Building an eco-city from scratch is like burning down your house to get the kitchen stove lit.
So a plea to Indian developers and financiers looking to develop their cities in the coming decades: Dubai is not a model. It is a warning sign. Take heed.