WorldChanging rightly points out that, we need to be building better cities, but since we can’t build what we can’t imagine, the first thing we need to be doing is imagining and portraying better cities. Often artistic ability or capacity limited thinkers from expressing their ideas for a better city. City planners like Ebenezer and Corbusier were few of those who transcended their abilities and managed to translate their visions into reality.
We shall not engage in a debate on the relevance of their thoughts but rather marvel at the availability of technology to do so in a better fashion. Graphic simulation and virtual walkthroughs have made expression of thoughts to the layperson far easier and lucid. Video games that incorporate such walkthroughs or even more relevant games like SimCity revealed how such translation of thought into actual realities was easy. Now only, if we could come up with a technological solution that would incorporate weather, demographic, traffic, and other infrastructural data into the model then implementation or at least visualization would be a cake walk. Geoff Manaugh writes on the use of cinematic expression i.e. “using short films as means to communicate ideas about urban design and architecture.” These can later be edited to add your visions and thoughts enhanced with even music and voice0vers to make excellent promotional material for your city.
In our Planning Theory and History class last semester, we were asked to write about our ideal city in generic terms and ideologies. I penned down my thoughts on a green and sustainable city that could be home to like-minded people with a conservation bent in the short term and almost everyone in the long term. I’ll post that essay on here sometime.