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 Grows Near City

April 15, 2015
South China Morning Post

The Zhengzhou Airport Economic Zone (Zhengzhou Aerotropolis) is developing around runways to become an efficient and thriving logistics hub.


Aerotropolitan Ambitions: China’s Frenzied Building of Airports Includes Work on City­-Sized Projects

March 16, 2015
The Economist

The world’s most ambitious aerotropolis that is being developed in Zhengzhou, China is discussed along with China’s aggressive airport construction agenda.


Airports take off as economic centers

February 6, 2015
China Daily

China is engaged in an airport construction boom that is transforming the country.  The relative financial merits of the construction boom are discussed in terms of cost and ultimate returns to local and regional economies.


Aerotropolis: Airports as the New City Center


Airports have become not just 21st century business magnets, but also regional economic accelerators, catalyzing and driving business development outward for many miles.


Hubs of Commerce

December 2014 / January 2015
Business Traveler USA

Modern commercial airports have become more than landing strips.  Today they are important hubs of commerce developing on and around them.


Planning a Competitive Aerotropolis

Advances in Airline Economics, Vol 4 (Emerald Group Publishing)

Aerotropolis planning principles are provided to improve (1) people and logistics mobility, (2) airport area land use and community development, and (3) firm and regional competitiveness.  Focus is on creating new "economies of speed" in goods and services trade through better local and global aerotropolis connectivity with coordinated business siting.  

Culture and Mobility

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

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.

Uran Studies

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.

See for full-text, as the final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Urban Studies, 50/6, May 2013, by SAGE Publications Ltd, All rights reserved. © SAGE Journals.

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.

"One of the ten ideas that will change the world"

Time Magazine, 2011

Aerotropolis The Way We'll Live Next

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"Major airports are today’s urban central stations, attracting and catalyzing commercial activity, employment, and supporting real estate development around and outward from them."

John D. Kasarda

"Hub airports function as gateways of high-value products and high-value people; everything and everybody from biomeds, smartphones, and sushi-grade tuna to corporate executives, investment bankers, and foreign tourists."

John D. Kasarda

"Mushrooming global e-commerce manifests the coalescing of the net age and the jet age. Since the web will not move a box, for every smartphone order placed in London, New York, or Sao Paulo, an aircraft flies it there, typically from China."

John D. Kasarda

"For many businesses and business people, time is not just cost; it is currency, as well."

John D. Kasarda

(supply chain concentration + advanced business services) X air connectivity = urban economic power

John D. Kasarda

"China and the Middle East have embraced the aerotropolis model to create new urban power centers that are challenging the likes of Frankfurt, London, New York, and Tokyo in capturing 21st century global business."

John D. Kasarda

"Where aviation thrives, the metropolitan region thrives."

John D. Kasarda

"One objective of my aerotropolis writings and commentary is to stimulate critical thought and healthy debate resulting in more-informed actions."

John D. Kasarda