Utopian cities have a long history and they stem from the time of the ancients. In fact concepts of Utopia are indivisible from the city. It is inconceivable to perceive a human Commonwealth except in the concrete form of city. The ideal city remained in abstract form throughout the mediaeval period i.e. the divine realm of heaven; the earthly realm appears to have had less importance. By the 15th century there was a move away from the Christian Utopia towards a humanist Utopia that desired the reconstruction of a new society. Much of the social reform literature from the 15th century on articulated the design of cities that would embody this political philosophy. This paper examines significant social reform literature from the 15th to the 19th century that is linked to utopian cities. The source texts are examined to identify the details of the cities and the cities are reconstructed using 3-D studio Max and ArchiCAD. This enables an analysis of the reconstructions to examine how the plans express the philosophy of the particular political theories that underline the design of the cities.
Author and article information
School of Architecture & Built Environment
The University of Newcastle