It's as if we're witnessing the rise of the walled cities in Neal Stephenson's novel The Diamond Age, where neo-Victorians live in isolated, nanotech splendor while other people live in cardboard boxes. This image shows the stark contrast between the slums and the mini-city called Hamilton Court in Gurgaon, India.

Today the New York Times has an interesting report on a form of urban design whose popularity is growing in India: the walled mini-city, with its own schools and power generators, surrounded by slums full of people who work as servants. While these mini-cities are like the "gated communities" you see in the west, what sets them apart is the degree of autonomy they have from their environs — they are literally running off a different electrical grid, and are designed so that nobody ever has to leave. [NYT]