Democracity 2


Democracity

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Democracity was a vast, round pool beneath a gigantic blue-lit dome.  From twin rotating balconies, the visitors looked down on what was supposed to be "a perfectly integrated garden city of tomorrow" and surrounding countryside as seen from seven thousand feet up.  As the balconies turned, the pre-recorded narrator described this new land.  The city was a carefully planned community built on the shores of a river with the streets radiating out from a central tower.  Powered by hydroelectrics, the city was open and clean without any noise, congestion or pollution because industry had been dispersed to equally planned outlying communities and workers were dispersed with them to cut down on the commuting.  As the show continued, the lights dim and ultraviolet lamps picked out fluorescent paint on the buildings to make them "light up."  Then the sky turned into a huge movie screen with people of all walks of life converging on Democracity while audience members of a more nervous disposition bolt for the doors.

Democracity may seem a bit tame by modern standards.  There aren't any incredible machines and it is, after all, little more than a description of a modern suburb, and to us the idea of cities built from scratch with nothing but spanking new buildings seems a bit bland and lifeless, but in 1939 the idea of clean, open cities   instead of piles of slums and tenements was a startling idea.  And to be fair, Democracity didn't have a strip mall in sight, so it's two points to '39.

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