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City of Tomorrow: Central Planners won’t build it


EPCOT is an anachronism today, despite all its claims of futurity. It was the first park to open following the death of Walt Disney. Instead of celebrating Walt Disney’s obsession with progress, it celebrates his founder’s vision. Early promotional materials for the park—originally envisioned by Walt Disney as a full-scale Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow—invite visitors to imagine a world of technological progress, centralized planning, and scientific management.

In 1982, the park was proposed in the midst of our collective love affair urban utopianism. However, the park was not opened until 1982. RoboCopFrom the casual traffic violence in Detroit, to’s Detroit Akira‘s Neo-Tokyo. Urban settings were so important to dystopian fiction up until recently that new cities were often built to accommodate them. Cyberpunk 2077Night City, or Ghost in the ShellNew Port City.

Our first attempts at building the city of the future involved cutting up cities with freeways and remaking neighborhoods according to untested design principles. We also locked communities into the zoning rules. However, the results were a clear failure.

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