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.
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.