Following on from the previous post, this article from the bbc expounds on how bridges are becoming more than a way to cross a river, and are becoming architectural statements in themselves.
Although it doesn’t mention it, it is pretty much all about the ‘Bilbao effect’ – where you hire a high profile architect to design a blockbuster building and puts your city on the map – exact how it was done for Bilbao with the Guggenheim museum. It went in pretty much one step from an industrial town to a hot city break tourist destination. Now everyone is trying to compete with their own ‘iconic’ building. See here for an good overview of some US efforts.