Panama, the Dubai of the Americas…..WHY?!
Many people have called Panama City, “The Dubai of Latin America”. Many developers and real estate agents are advertising it this way. The media is hyping it.
My question is…. WHY?????
Why does Panama City want to become a Dubai? Who wants Panama to be a Dubai? Is being the Dubai of the America something good? Wouldn’t Panama rather be the Barcelona of the Americas, or the London of the Americas?
It is easy to look at the countless construction sites in Panama and Dubai and draw similarities. The “architecture” is an equally horrific mishmash of tinted glass and concrete. There is no attempt to create context, or a neighborhood. The only desire is to be more dramatic or “original” to grab the attention of prospective clients. Nothing is more important than the pre-construction rendering. It doesn’t matter what the completed building looks like, or what it does to its neighbors…. if it looks good, it will sell!
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Take the Trump Ocean Club for example. WOW! “What a beautiful structure! Right on tropical waters…..not a neighbor in sight! I can’t wait to go there and relax in that tropical sun feeling the fresh ocean breeze and to just get away from this crazy city life! “
I can’t imagine how many people bought a unit or invested in the Trump Ocean Club in Panama without seeing the context, which is this……
You can see that the owners didn’t care about designing anything but the “image”. They didn’t care about the neighborhood, the neighbors, the sustainability of the city. They just cared about the image and what would sell to buyers. Advertising rules architecture in Panama.
Why can’t Panama be the Barcelona of the Americas? Smart investment in Barcelona renovated a dead economy and catapulted it into a world class city. Why must Panama try to imitate Dubai by sacrificing itself to become a playground for the rich? A forest of self contained luxury towers whose residents travel from private tower to private tower in air-conditioned sedans, never stepping foot in a public space. In my opinion, being the Dubai of the Americas is nothing to brag about. Feel free to leave your ideas below 🙂