A while ago I wrote that I'd post the talk I prepared for the 2008 Jeddah Economic Forum. So here it is as a PDF: Why & How to civilize the mega-project. It's a good talk but only if you are interested in the subject.
Now that I know more of the development taking place in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and have even seen some of it, I believe that the suggestions in the talk are all the more on point. Probably the key one — and one of the most difficult to implement because of the close relationship everywhere in the world between local politicians and large developers — is as Massengale in the immediately prior post suggests: break-up the megaproject site into streets and blocks and sell off lots and not to many to one entity. Will that limit the number of huge Burj Dubai (>160 stories) scale projects? Uh, yes. It will even limit the number or puny 50-story skyscrapers for the simple reason is that, practically speaking, the taller the building the large the footprint it needs. So breaking up ownerships on a block is a practical way to limit the scale of buildings. Is such a policy likely to be adopted in many parts of the world? Probably not.
The good news is that there are other ways to civilize the megaproject, though I don't think any are as elegant as the platting process. Read the talk if you want more.