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Are we living in Subtopia already?

Travel Forums General Talk Are we living in Subtopia already?

1. Posted by jackflash (Inactive 84 posts) 10y

Ok so many architectual pioneers believed that eventually we would be living in a prefabricated subtopia (a monotonous urban sprawl of standardized buildings) but has it actually happened?

With the rise in multinationals and globalisation the facades of retail and commercial outlets within our country towns and cities are practically identical to one another?

Is london any different to Manchester?

Is this happening around the world? Discuss:

2. Posted by beerman (Respected Member 1631 posts) 10y

I'm guessing you haven't seen suburban Chicago, have you?

I think it is slowly beginning, but I don't think it will be as pervasive as some may think.....each city, suburb (well, maybe not the suburbs), and rural area has, and will have, its' share of mono-block faceless chain stores, but each will also retain the individuality and charm that made the area in the first place.

I prefer to assume that the future will not be one large homogenized society, just as people cannot be homogenized into one large group (even though it may seem like that at times).

Though I wouldn't mind a flying car.....

3. Posted by jackflash (Inactive 84 posts) 10y

I haven't seen chicago, but just send me a pic of one block of buildings, then I'll get the idea...

Yes it has begun and I do think it is pervasive, take Stratford upon avon in England for example, it's historic centre holds many historic and culturally important buildings from the 1500's, yet these facades have neon signs (mcdonalds, burgerking) staked through their wooden hearts... I think a place can loose it's charm...

Flying car?? you've had too much beerman!

anyway sorry for waffling on... I just think townplanners should be more conscious of preserving what rich heritage we are left with...

4. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 10y

I do think we have entered a period of global architecture. I don't think that there are many large scale projects that take place any more in a local style (though, on smaller scale projects like houses, there still is a lot of local variety). Therefore, a skyscrapper going up in Beijing will have a similar style to one in New York or one in Sao Paolo.

However, I don't think that it is a "sprawl of standardized buildings." I do think that today's skyscrappers, while being of the same architectural style, do have differences that make them unique and identifiable.

And I don't think that we will end up with a continous urban (or suburban) sprawl. I know in North America we were definately headed that way, but in the last 10 or 15 years, the trend has reversed and we are seeing more downtown development (or redevelopment) and a lot more acceptance of building high density for living and working. Hand in hand with this, a lot of places in North America are working to protect their green space (whether that be farm land or natural lands). It's not perfect, but it's definately heading in the right direction in my mind.

The future (at least in North America, where I am most familiar with) will be downtowns of high density and mass transit, smaller suburbs and cities closer to nature. (If things go to plan).

Greg

5. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 10y

Quoting beerman

... Though I wouldn't mind a flying car.....

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

6. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Quoting beerman

Though I wouldn't mind a flying car.....

If you get the flying car, I'll get this for us too:

JB's Lotus Esprit

Can't have one without the other, really!

We now return you to the regularly scheduled topic.