Section: Julianna Cope
Global Now: Abstract
Headline: Utopian neighbourhoods
Source: Staten Island Advance news columns
Arjun Appadurai talks about the disjuncture between spatial and virtual neighborhoods in his article. But I was thinking about the realization of virtual landscapes to create spatial neighborhoods. The first thing that came to my mind when I thought about utopian neighborhoods was Walt Disney’s EPCOT – “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow”.
I stumbled upon this article about the effects of Walt Disney’s vision of an urban landscape on the urbanization of New York City. Though Moses, president of the triborough bridge and tunnel authority, drew inspiration from Walt Disney he had different ideals.
Walt Disney thought more about people and neighborhoods while Moses focused on permanently changing the urban landscape of the city. He started massive development of highways, bridges and tunnels. This rapid change in urban landscapes changed the quiet neighborhoods into very urban spaces, which led to the migration of people to the suburbs. The idea behind creating the “city of tomorrow” was to create radically different neighborhoods. The idea of creating a central hub well connected to all amenities, with the help of mass transportation and creating a socially viable community with favorable and luxurious living conditions was a great departure from the redundant urban planning policies. It was a utopian dream well realized.
Global Issue: Urban landscapes
Primary Design Lens: Urban studies
Secondary Design Lens: Virtual Neighborhoods