Pathways toward ‘overshoot and collapse’ futures are not always or exclusively determined by international trends, national governments, wars and large-scale events. While these gain considerable attention their overall impact is arguably no greater than the constant ‘drip, drip, drip’ of conventional decision-making around more mundane activities that fall under familiar headings like ‘business strategy’, ‘economic growth’ and ‘development’. While cities have master plans and strategic goals most of them evolve within, and are expressed through, a continuous series of commercially inspired projects founded on narrow short-term economic assumptions. They emerge from a typically up-beat, entrepreneurial (profit-oriented) and finance-based worldview that is little short of delusional. As a result, many large-scale projects are poorly conceived and end up working against shared community interests. The central purpose of this paper is to contribute toward a broad re-appraisal of such projects in the hope that future ‘developments’ can be turned toward more consciously proactive and socially responsible ends.
Keywords: development, economic growth, redundant visions, casinos, anthropocene, transition to sustainability