How science fiction inspires the future of our cities Pt. 1

Science fiction is about the limits of what we can imagine. It tests the constraints of the physical and spiritual – and then transgresses those boundaries. Because of this bold irreverence, the genre has the ability to inspire, to make us strive for more, and to – literally – reach for the sky. Against this background, our new series of features investigates science fiction’s vision of urban living.

Utopian ideas and impulses have driven architects, civic engineers, and city planners for quite some time – since Industrialization’s push for rapid city growth, these professions have made it their mission to discover and design new and improved urban environments. At the same time, another discipline deals with our future and novel forms of living: visual, literary, and theoretical science fiction fiends explore the present to extrapolate and conjure up alternative scenarios that might include radically different urban living arrangements: think megaplex cities, sentient buildings, or near-instantaneous transportation.