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

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.


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
Originally 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.


Are Airports Non-Places?

Summer 2011
Airport Consulting

Social scientists view airports as quintessential "non-places". "Places" communicate identity, social meaning, and history while "non-places", lacking these attributes, are held to be anonymous, disorienting and off-putting.

Airport World

Big plans for Panama: Panama’s Airport City and Aerotropolis Ambitions

June-July, 2011
Appears in Airport World

Central America has lagged behind other regions of the world in airport city and aerotropolis development. This is about to change.

Research in Transportation Business & Management

Seeding growth at airports and airport cities: Insights from the two-sided market literature

August 2011

Airports are evolving from simple infrastructure providers to complex multiproduct, multiservice enterprises wherein consumption of one product cross-subsidizes the provision of others. Nowhere is this better seen than in the airport cities which are evolving around many mid and large sized airports. Rather than separate portfolio businesses which can smooth or augment airport revenue, these developments raise the prospect that airports are platforms for two-sided markets.

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

Time Magazine, 2011

Aerotropolis The Way We'll Live Next

Learn More Buy the Book

"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