Ruins

Now and then I meander towards the bookshelves and take out something that grabs my attention.
This time it was a book with photographs of old things:
Tote Technik. Ein Wegweiser zu den antiken Stätten von Morgen. Fotos Manfred HAMM (Ger.). Herausgeber Rolf STEINBERG (some books he edited). Einleitender Essay Robert JUNGK [they should realy re-work their site!] (Ger., Eng.), Berlin 1981.
I think it was not yet called “urban exploration” then. And it hits me like a ton of bricks, its 32 years since this book was published!

They show
– “Gemäuer des Krieges” (Verdun, Maginot-Linie, Atlantikwall, (Ger., Eng.)),
– Barry Docks (Eng., pics,  flickr),
– “Versunkene Häfen (New York, Brighton, Port Winston),
– England’s last aircraft carriers (Ark Royal and Eagle in Cairnryan),
– “Ruinen der Montankrise” (“the ancient age of coal and steel”),
– “Die neuen Pyramiden” (heaps of dead cars in Philadelphia and the West Side Elevated Highway in NewYorkCity),
– “Tod in Tucson” (the airplane cemetery in Arizona),
– “Frühe Stätten der Weltraumfahrt” (Cape Canaveral after Apollo), and
– “Morsche Mailer” (ruins of the “atomic state” (Atomstaat (Ger., Eng.) as we used to call it back then, before the Green Party even existed; nuclear power plants at the end of their life cycle) – everything becomes history).

There’s noting to it, just a book and some links. And 32 years.

From Mega to Global

“Global city” is a term popularized by the sociologist Saskia Sassen* when she used it in the title of her 1991 book: “The Global City: New York London Tokyo”.
The term “Megacity” (Ger., Eng.) is used to describe urban areas that reach a certain magnitude or expansion, normally when the amount of inhabitants exceeds 10 million. (Here’s a top twenty list in German.) Megacities can be vulnerable, the “Mega Cities Task Force” has information about this and further links, I hope it is still working.
Global Cities (Ger., Eng.) can be large too, but their importance originates in their economic, political and cultural significance they have within a growing global system: They are not only passively shaped by this system, but they actively form it and play a role within this process of globalization. (For a conference about this topic go here.) A “hit list” of Globalcities was put together 2008 by the GaWC Research Network, the latest list is the 2010 Global Cities Index (long version here), thrown together by the magazine Foreign Policy. The first and second rank in all lists go to NewYork City and London, the following vary according to the special emphasis the listmaker put on various factors.

* See here for an interesting article about her and her family, sorry Ger. only.