Building more cities

In: Uncategorized

8 May 2010

There are many problems with the proposals by Paul Romer, a professor of economics at Stanford, for charter cities – mainly to do with political sovereignty – but he does make an important point on desalination.

Speaking on an episode of the Global Prosperity Wonkcast he argued that improvements in desalination technology make large tracts of arid, coastal land viable as places to build sizeable cities. His point reminds me of a similar argument made previously about air conditioning (see 24 August 2006 post).

The application of technology opens many possibilities that were not available in the past. Being willing to use our imagination is one of the key conditions for putting it to use.