Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Too Fast Cities?

I've looked at the fast ones (which are suppose to be good), and I've looked at the slow ones (which are bad). Now we are tackling the cities that Fast Company believes are "too fast." "Too fast" has problems too.

Cairo, Egypt

"The push for democracy has stalled, and corruption is as rife as ever. No wonder so many Egyptian entrepreneurs are looking elsewhere for opportunities. "

I never knew Cairo or Egypt were ever fast. I have long perceived it as a city stuck and chaotic. I have never considered chaotic as "fast," but simply chaotic. I'm surprised it is on the list.

Almaty, Kazakhstan

"There's new construction everywhere. There's also crime, corruption, and nuclear waste. Culture? Uh, no."

This is true. The remnants of the corruption pervasive in the old Soviet Union remain alive and well in this old Republic.

Greenwich, Connecticut

"A luxe enclave of superrich hedge funds. But one meltdown and this party's over."
This small "fast money" empire has done well on hedge funds, but at some point you have to wonder how it is going to work long term.

Las Vegas, Nevada

"An environmental pileup in the making. Can the casinos find enough water to fill all those pools?"

Las Vegas is one of those few cities that I felt like I was getting motion sickness even while sitting still. On the other hand, when has it not been fast? And when has it not been making people uncomfortable about its future? I'm not sure if it is a smart bet to make a wager against sin city.

Shenzhen, China

"Think Vegas, except in China. Home prices have doubled in four years."

Home prices have doubled in four years because the vast majority of the people were virtually homeless. They have gone from rather primative conditions to big money in a very short period of time. Should Shenzhen make you a little nervous for investing? Maybe, but I'm not sure it can help its rapid pace of change.

I think "too fast" is a little subjective, but I still believe such a list has merit. I'm just not sure if I would have made Fast Company's choices. Maybe I will address those in a future post.

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