Iannis Xenakis, the Greek-French experimental composer and protege designer for the famous architect Le Corbusier, advanced theories of the vertical “Cosmic” city as the only sustainable way forward. Here, he wrote this essay in 1966, decrying decentralization (read: suburban sprawl) in favor of building up, up, up…5 million inhabitants to be housed in a single megastructure, a hyperbolic paraboloid of more than 3,000 meters high and 50 meters wide.
Max Talley’s surreal and disturbing story posits a lone traveler who stumbles into an eerie alternative universe, a quiet utopia, or a slow death trap. Read the entire story for free online at Chantwood Magazine.
The model planners and economists touted as “sustainable development” has only exacerbated ecologic distress and community dislocation through its focus on wealth-creation. The needs of our ailing planet facing an impending 11 billion population calls for ecology and human welfare to dominate economy, but how to achieve this in a world bought and paid for by finance capitalism?
Once the largest hippie commune in the US, the Farm persists as an intentional community in rural Tennessee, based on principles of nonviolence and respect for the Earth. It now advocates permaculture, sustainable and renewable energy, a vegetarian diet, and midwifery.
The idea of the “utopian” community began in 1516 with Sir Thomas More’s fictional perfected society to present-day attempts to build the most sustainable urban ecosystem. With the case of Songdo International Business District, South Korea, we begin a series of case studies in the success and failure of utopian experiments in living sustainably.
Master planned, self contained New Cities have appeared all over Africa. Emulating models from the global north, private-sector boosters advance them without considering factors such as environment, economy, context and even poverty. Nairobi-based urban practitioner Jane Lumumba argues they might only make social and economic problems worse.
The government of Honduras plans the creation of neoliberal free-market enclaves, unaccountable to national laws and governed by foreign corporate interests. Stipulated for territory inhabited by Garifuna people and campesino farming communities, with propaganda about democracy, economic innovation and humanitarian justice, “President” Pepe Lobo should first refrain from presiding over the coup-backed “illegitimate regime.”