From concepts of airborne cities to proposals for a dome over Manhattan, these grand plans and unbuildable designs set high expectations

The city of the future has been invented again and again. In science fiction stories, in altruistic urban plans, in the unbuildable designs of architectural provocateurs, the city has a long and robust history of taking on new forms within the human imagination.

Be they prophecy, speculation or simple entertainment, such visions have infiltrated the general consciousness, setting grand expectations and perhaps causing some disappointment at the substandard world we’re stuck with. Where are our flying cars? Our hoverboards? Our conflict-free utopian society based on the principle of love?

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