Imagining Future Cites

Black Hawk DownAre there any movies, video games, tv shows, etc that have a positive visions of urban futures?

There are plenty of negative ones. Mike Davis thinks Black Hawk Down represents a new icon of the urban future to replace Blade Runner as the city of the future. From BLDGBLOG: Interview with Mike Davis: Part 1:

BLDGBLOG: What kind of imaginative role do you see slums playing today? On the one hand, there’s a kind of CIA-inspired vision of irrational anti-Americanism, mere breeding grounds for terrorism; on the other, you find books like The Constant Gardener, in which the Third World poor are portrayed as innocent, naive, and totally unthreatening, patiently awaiting their liberal salvation. Whose imaginination is it in which these fantasies play out?

Davis: I think, actually, that if Blade Runner was once the imaginative icon of our urban future, then the Blade Runner of this generation is Black Hawk Down – a movie I must admit I’m drawn to to see again and again. Just the choreography of it – the staging of it – is stunning. But I think that film really is the cinematic icon for this new frontier of civilization: the “white man’s burden” of the urban slum and its videogame-like menacing armies, with their RPGs in hand, battling heroic techno-warriors and Delta Force Army Rangers. It’s a profound military fantasy. I don’t think any movie since The Sands of Iwo Jima has enlisted more kids in the Marines than Black Hawk Down. In a moral sense, of course, it’s a terrifying film, because it’s an arcade game – and who could possibly count all the Somalis that are killed?

And, does anyone know of any pieces of popular art that represent a positive vision of an urban future?

3 thoughts on “Imagining Future Cites”

  1. Hi, you might want to look at Bruce Mau, The future of global design. This was/is a traveling exhibit as well as a book.

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