What will cities look like some 200 years in the future? In the past, visions of the future city have been full of magnificent skyscrapers, moving sidewalks and flying cars. The reality is that the future city will be built one structure at a time and will contain many current buildings and neighborhoods.
The image to the left represents an imaginary city constructed of a melange of styles from a European past.
What city exists in your dreams? What changes should occur in the way we design and develop cities? What development approaches should we continue? Which should we dump? Most importantly, which approaches are most supportive to a creative and thriving human society.
At least as far back as Plato, thinkers about successes and failures among existing cities have pondered what direction cities should take in the future. Some of these intellectuals have been original in their thinking. Only a few have had a broad and lasting impact upon the urban fabric.
These urban philosophers more than just think, they set in motion definite changes in the established way of viewing and developing cities. Here I mention a few who have a lasting impact on my thinking about the now and future city.
Urban Situations - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
The sub-heading is the title of one of my favorite western movies. Rather than the mythical American West, the focus here is on urban situations either (1) to be emulated or (2) to be seen as experiments that went awry. The question is, which urban designs and landscapes should be models for the future?
If we respect our history, culture and what works, the best of what exists will remain and be imitated elsewhere. On these web pages, urban forms and places are scrutinized for those characteristics that make for such success or failure.