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Entries in future cities (32)

Friday
Apr202007

Man's Future Beneath the Sea (1968)


This image from the 1968 book Explorers of the Deep: Man's Future Beneath the Sea depicts the inevitable colonization of the ocean floor.

Man has only two vast, natural frontiers left to him: outer space and the oceans, both of which are still virtually unexplored and unexpoited. In the years to come, technological breakthroughs will make possible a major escalation on the part of the world's oceanographers to develop the resources of the oceans for the benefit of mankind. The new realm of hydrospace will provide thousands of new job opportunities and bring about the birth of dozens of new industries as our oceanic engineers perfect the techniques to dive deeper and stay longer under the surface of the seas.

See also:
Sea City 2000 (1979)
Undersea Cities (1954)
The Future World of Transportation

Thursday
Apr122007

The Metropolis of Tomorrow (1929)

The Hugh Ferriss book The Metropolis of Tomorrow, originally published in 1929, is an amazing work broken up into three parts: Cities of Today, Projected Trends, and An Imaginary Metropolis. Needless to say, the last section is most intriguing for our purposes.

The image below is a radial design for a city that pops up many times in the succeeding years, notably in Walt Disney's original design for EPCOT.The first center to be seen is that structure, or complex of structures, in which the control of the business activities of the cities is housed. Here is located the seat of government of the city's practical affairs, including its three chief branches - legislative, judiciary and executive.

At this closer view we can distinguish in greater detail the characteristics of the tower-buildings. The tower itself rises directly over the intersection of two of the master highways to a height of 1200 feet. There are eight flanking towers, half this height, which, with their connecting wings, enclose four city blocks. The center extends, however, over eight adjoining blocks, where its supplementary parts rise to a height of twelve stories.

We see, upon examining the Avenue, that more than one level for traffic is provided. Local wheel traffic is on the ground level; express traffic is depressed; pedestrians pass on a separate plane above.

Beyond the center, the lower districts of the city are visible, together with the radial avenues which lead to the other tower-buildings of the Business district.

Monday
Apr092007

Lunar High Jump (1979)

As promised, today we have a highlight from the 2020 Olympic Games; the lunar high jump. These Games will, of course, take place on the moon.

One of my favorite things about this image is the "special equipment" needed to replace the bar. At first glance I assumed the bubble enclosing the man in the vehicle was to protect him and that air was being pumped in. I then realized that the athletes don't need the same type of protection.


A reoccurring element of the paleo-future is the expectation of superfluous design. That is to say, we make things appear different and beautiful because we can. With a few design modifications the utility vehicle could be much more practical, but where's the fun in that? I guess that's why we fall in love with the future and why dystopian images are that much more jarring.

This image is featured in the 1979 book Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century (World of the Future) which is a volume in the compilation book The Usborne Book of the Future: A Trip in Time to the Year 2000 and Beyond.

See also:
Olympic Games on the Moon in 2020 (1979)
Sea City 2000 (1979)
Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century (1979)
Ristos (1979)
The Future World of Transportation

Monday
Apr092007

Undersea Cities (1954)

Rather than a floating city, today we have an image of undersea cities from the book Out of Time: Designs for the Twentieth-Century Future.

The book says that the image was published on the cover of if magazine in January of 1954. The most perplexing choice of the artist is why some of the "undersea cars" are driving on the ocean floor. It doesn't seem very practical but I'm sure that it helped 1950s audiences picture such an environment as familiar or more desirable.

See also:
Sea City 2000 (1979)

Friday
Mar302007

Olympic Games on the Moon in 2020 (1979)

For those of you who can't get enough of the book Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century, here are the Olympic Games of the year 2020 which, of course, will be on the moon.

After a Moon city is established the 'Moonies' will "want the prestige of holding a major world event." Their idea is the Olympic Games of 2020, complete with a stadium covered by a huge plexiglass dome where "the visitors from Earth will have a fine view of their home world."


Stay tuned for a great illustration of the "Lunar high jump" coming next week.

See also:
Sea City 2000 (1979)
Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century (1979)
Ristos (1979)
The Future World of Transportation

Tuesday
Mar272007

Sea City 2000 (1979)


Today we have more from the great book Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century.

The Sea City 2000 shows some great paleo-future technology such as the dish-shaped antenna that "beams microwave energy, generated by solar cells, to a receiver on the nearby coast."

The bottom right corner shows a Buckminster Fuller design for a floating community. His design includes shops, schools and homes for 5,000 people.

See also:
The Future World of Transportation
Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century
Ristos (1979)

Sunday
Mar042007

Walt Disney and City Planning

"Imagineers said that when they were planning Tomorrowland, Walt would carry around books on city planning and mutter about traffic, noise, and neon signs, and he kept three volumes in his office to which he frequently referred: Garden Cities of Tomorrow by Sir Ebenezer Howard (originally published in 1902 and reissued in 1965), which promoted a vision of a more pastoral urban life; and The Heart of Our Cities and Out of a Fair, a City, both by an architect and mall designer name Victor Gruen, who urged the reconceptualization of the city as more ordered, rational and humane."

(excerpted from p. 608 in Walt Disney: Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler)

Also, it looks like a new 2007 edition of Garden Cities of Tomorrow just came out.