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Theme City or Gated Community - Images of Future Cties


By Helenius-Mäki, Leena
The RePEc Blog
August 2002


ERSA conference papers from European Regional Science Association
Abstract: The future of the cities has been under discussion since
the first city. It has been typical in every civilisation and era to
hope for a better city. Creek philosopher Platon created image of
future city where all men were equal and the city was ruled by
philosophers minds. Many philosopher or later social scientist have
ended up to similar "hope to be city". The form and type of the
better city has depended from creators of those future city images.

The creators have had their future city images made through their
own political, ideological, religious or other principles. In the
recent discussion on the national or international level it has been
common to have those images of the future cities divided in only two
categories: "it''s gonna be either small or big city", "it''s gonna
be either well balanced or polarising city development", "it''s
gonna be either dying or competitive city", etc. The varying images
of future cities are missed but yet still not noticed. The future of
the cities is made by varying creators/factors/composers. Happening
development is to be made by common evolution of societies, changing
structures of infrastructure, public sector and work, international
trades and markets, or natural catastrophes or wars. Or they are
made by cities (their managers, developers, citizens, city marketing
units, etc.) themselves.

The images of future cities can be
developed by many ways. These images are born in the minds of common
people while they follow the ongoing evolution of the globe,
nations, nature, cities etc. - both in international and local
level. Or the images of future cities are made especially for some
particular purpose. Movies such as "Matrix", "Blade Runner" and "12
Monkeys" present their writers and directors view to the possible
future. City marketing units try to create fancy images of their
city now and in the future - when all the aims of the city
developers are to be full fill the needs of the most wanted
citizens. The aim of the paper is to present six different type of
possible future cities: "Theme city", "Urban village", "Gated
community", "Multicultural city", "Network city" and "Ecological
city". There are many more future images of the cities presented in
studies of the cities and in other literature. These six different
city types are introduced shortly - basic elements and features.



 

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