We're in for a wild ride. Exponentially accelerating technological, cultural, and socioeconomic evolution means that every year will see more developments than the previous one. More change will happen between now and 2050 than during all of humanity's past. Let's explore the 21st century and ride this historic wave of planetary transition with a confident open mind.

Friday, August 21, 2009

International Subway Station Comparison

After exploring the state of one subway station in Manhattan, I decided to scout the internets for subway station aesthetics of regions that are not yet considered first world. As various research explains to me, the New York Subway is in its third world state of disrepair and neglect due to the huge amount of people living in poverty and severe budgetary mismanagement/corruption by public officials and elites. So I decided to explore the visuals of subways and metros from the key cities in BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) block of developing nations since they are affected by similar problems to a larger degree.


Beijing Subway (no this is not a set from a science fiction movie but an ultra sleek subway system that makes you feel that you're in an airport or a spaceport)

Shanghai Metro

Nanjing Metro

Guangzhou Metro


Moscow Metro ( not this is not a modernist museum or some ancient castle but a subway system started in the 1930s)

Saint Petersburg Metro

Kazan Metro (capital of Tatarstan, a Muslim flyover province)


Rio De Janeiro Metro

Sao Paulo Metro


Delhi Subways

OOOPS!! Turns out that was not some slum in India but actually New York City stations in United States of America. Lets try this again.


Delhi Metro

Well turns out Mumbai and Bangalore don't have an active metro system just yet but are building it. When it is completed, Bangalore for example, will have metro stations that look something like this according to the conceptual art:

Ah! My mistake again. I mixed up the conceptual art for Bangalore with 1990s designs which envision how Bronx and Queens stations will look like in 2009. The above are actually already built state of the art New York metro stations. Bangalore is in the process of building more third world type stations like these:

Thus concludes our quick tour around the developing world. Turns out that third world is focused too much on self respect, beauty, modernity, quality of life, and being in the 21st century. It'll never catch up with United States if it keeps building for its people and having pride. We need to explain to Chinese, Indians, Russians, and Brazilians that you can't nation build domestically like this. It is too expensive or something or other.

Either that or it is time for B.R.I.C. to become B.R.I.C.A.

P.S. Sweden beats all of them.

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  2. Nice contrast with American decrepitude. This is the kind of stuff that makes the folks who keep saying that America is exceptional nuts. Of course America is exceptional but so is every other nation and some day our subways stations will look this up to date again. This wil be after America has figured out how to fund its public sector. My favorite source is taxation of the value of land and natural resources all of which is created by the community of all people and not by individual "owners" of particular pieces of of earth. It would be interesting to see how these other countries funded such magnificent public works. They sure as shooting weren't privatized as our neo-liberal ideologues woud hope for.