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Metapolis

"Metapolis is the name given to those urban phenomena which, going beyond the
metropolitan scale, free themselves from any territorial medium to base themselves on
interconnection networks composed of visible means of transport and invisible means
of communication. Under the denomination of metapolis, urban attributes are acquired
by all those spaces which, whether they belong to the city or not, comply with the
condition of taxing its resources, work forces, and habitat to the metropolis by
guaranteeing its daily functioning.

Lacking a physical substrate, and as a consequence of the absolute leading role played
within it by flow and movement, the form of the metapolis differs radically from that we
knew of the metropolis. This is so in the first place because of the lack of contiguity
between the fragments that make it up, which makes it a palimpsest of distant cities,
remote productive areas, and exotic leisure resorts converted into decision centers:
profoundly heterogeneous spaces, organized according to a criterion of maximum
efficiency which determines that fluidity in transitions becomes as important as the
sharpness of the parts.

Secondly this is because of the disappearance of stable and balanced territorial
organizations such as those that were tested by the pioneers of modern urbanism. The
metapolis is constituted as a polarized system of interconnected global metropolises
thanks to the proliferation of high-speed means of transport. The consequences of this
acceleration are profound: the appearance of the so-called "tunnel effect" among nodes
means the end of the phenomenon of transversality that throughout history has served
as a basis for the "natural" organization of the territory.

An intermediate position, which historically could have been the key to prosperity of
average-sized and smaller cities, becomes by means of metapolization an insuperable
disadvantage that causes the exodus of the population, economic activities, and wealth
to the large cities. For the metapolis, between two high-speed train stops, between two
airports, there is nothing, only landscapes tasting of dried fruit and nuts and gin and
tonic, contemplated by vacant and indifferent glances from hermetic windows from
those who wonder when they will arrive."

[http://www.atributosurbanos.es/en/terms/metapolis/, consulted Oct 2nd, 2010]