Linked below are selected publications by Dr. John Kasarda addressing the basics of airport city and aerotropolis planning and development as well as articles on his work and that of Aerotropolis Business Concepts LLC. A more comprehensive set of publications can be found at

Aerotropolis: Business Mobility and Urban Competitiveness in the 21st Century

Culture and Mobility (Heidelberg University Press)

The 21st century is bringing competitive advantage to cities that understand and capitalize on the changing context of business mobility and commercial development. This context is being altered by a catalytic interaction of digitization, globalization, and aviation transforming where and the way business is conducted. It is also transforming the pace and distances that products and people routinely traverse. These dynamics have heightened competition among places as well as firms around the world 

Airport cities: The evolution

April/May, 2013
Airport World Vol 18, No 2

Also available at
Airport City and aerotropolis development is gaining substantial traction, multiplying rapidly around the world. With cities now being built around airports, rather than the reverse, propitious opportunities await metropolitan regions that can marshal the vision, planning skills, and coordinated actions to capitalize on them.

The Airport City Phenomenon: Evidence from Large US Airports

May, 2013
Urban Studies Vol 50, No 6

As air transport for leisure trips, business travel and goods shipment increased rapidly over the past several decades, the emergence of airport cities has been hypothesised. Busy commercial airports may be emerging as central transport nodes in large metropolitan areas, much as ports and rail terminals were in the past, anchoring employment servicing passengers, facilitating frequent travellers and providing a spatial focus for unrelated firms. An analysis of small-area employment data for the areas surrounding 25 major US airports and the related central cities reveals the concentration of employment within 2.5 miles of these airports to be substantial—approximately half that within 2.5 miles of the central point of the corresponding CBDs—and growing. The analysis refocuses a question about the nature of spatial differentiation within metropolitan regions supporting multiple employment nodes.

Stephen Appold and John D. Kasarda are in the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, University of North Carolina, CB 3440 Chapel Hill, 27599-3440, USA. Email: and

A Tale of Two Airports

April/May 2013
Airport World Vol 18, No 2

Brazil's Belo Horizonte International Airport went from stagnation to major growth success, but it took bold government decisions, and substantial investment in connecting surface transportation infrastructure.

Aerotropolis: Landing in the Heart of 21st Century Urban Planning

January/February, 2012
Originally published by Business Facilities

The future of economic development is taking shape at major international air hubs that have become the anchor of an organically expanding growth strategy, the Aerotropolis

The Aerotropolis and Global Competitiveness

December, 2011
Originally published by Diplomatic Courier in Global Cities, Dec. 2011 print edition

A new urban form is emerging worldwide that is shaping the competitiveness of metropolitan regions and nations. It is the aerotropolis, a city built around an airport which offers aviation-oriented firms speedy connectivity to their suppliers, customers, and enterprise partners nationally and worldwide.

Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next?

December, 2011
Orifinally published in Atlantis, Dec. 2011 edition

John D. Kasarda is co-author of the new book Aerotropolis, an astonishing treatise on the metropolis of the future and the integral role of the airport. Kasarda argues "Look for yesterday's busiest train terminals and you will find today's great urban centers. Look for today's biggest airports and you will find the great urban centers of tomorrow." In his career he has consulted with four White House administrations and advised companies such as Boeing, FedEx and Bank of America. He is professor at the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School. For a rare moment when he is not in the air, Atlantis asks him about the future of the airport, the city and the implications for the Netherlands.

Global Airport Cities

From Global Airport Cities, John D. Kasarda, Contributing Editor (London: Insight Media Publications, 2010)

The first three chapters from the Global Airport Cities book are provided. These chapters include (1) The Way Forward, (2) Strategically Managing Airport Cities, and (3) Airport City Pioneers. Key components of airport cities and aerotropolises are described as well as strategic management issues.

The Rise of the Aerotropolis

September, 2010

Once a place strictly for airplanes to take off and land, the modern airport has become something much more significant for any company, or region contemplating its economic future.

Airport Cities

April, 2009
Urban Land

Even in today's rocky economic times, airports and their immediate environs are becoming 21st-century commercial anchors, taking on many features of destination retail and urban centers.

"International airline routes are the quintessential manifestation of 21st century globalization. They are our high-speed physical Internet, moving people and products quickly and efficiently over long distances. Airports are its routers, attracting time-critical, globally-oriented businesses of all types to their environs creating a new urban form – the Aerotropolis."

Time Magazine, 2011

Aerotropolis The Way We'll Live Next

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"The aerotropolis is the physical incarnation of globalization made concrete in urban form reflecting local interfaces of worldwide airborne flows of people and products."

John D. Kasarda

"In today's globally-networked, turbulent economy it is no longer the big eating the small but the fast eating the slow. Economies of speed have become as important as economies of scale and economies of scope for firms and cities to compete."

John D. Kasarda

"A well-designed aerotropolis functions as an 'urban pipe' reducing time-cost frictions of space and distance, thereby increasing both firm and regional operational efficiency."

John D. Kasarda

"The primary metrics for aerotropolis planning are not space and distance but time and cost of connecting. It is not how far but how fast firms and business people can connect to their suppliers, customers, and enterprise partners locally, nationally and globally."

John D. Kasarda

"Cities used to be almost exclusively destinations and airports solely places of departure. Now airports are becoming destinations and cities places of departure as their residents and workers increasingly travel to emerging airport cities and aerotropolises around the world."

John D. Kasarda

"A globally competitive aerotropolis will not likely evolve on a spontaneous, ad hoc basis. Rather, it must be guided by a shared vision, strategy, and coordinated actions among the private, public, and institutional sectors."

John D. Kasarda

"In the Aerotropolis model, transportation and logistics are not costs to be minimized, but value-adding services to be optimized."

John D. Kasarda

"Airports today are not just trade facilitators; they are trade creators by quickly connecting businesspeople and high-value, time-critical products to distant customers and markets."

John D. Kasarda

"Under Global City 4.0, exports of knowledge-based, information-intensive business services – delivered to distant sites by air traveling auditors, consultants, corporate lawyers, investment bankers, marketers, and professionals of all types – will far eclipse the value of the Global City’s goods exports."

John D. Kasarda

"As our world becomes increasingly networked, ever-greater amounts of commerce will flow to and through its hubs, especially its major air hubs and the metropolitan regions they serve, creating a global hierarchy of aerotropolises established by the strength of air hub connectivity and resulting value of goods and services trade generated."

John D. Kasarda