Home » Ideal Cities: Utopianism and the (Un)Built Environment by Ruth Eaton
Ideal Cities: Utopianism and the (Un)Built Environment Ruth Eaton

Ideal Cities: Utopianism and the (Un)Built Environment

Ruth Eaton

Published
ISBN : 9780500286692
Paperback
255 pages
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 About the Book 

Ideal cities, or utopias, have been imagined in dazzling detail by philosophers, poets, architects, social reformers, religious zealots, and artists for more than two millennia, an abiding and ever-evolving vision Eaton cogently surveys in thisMoreIdeal cities, or utopias, have been imagined in dazzling detail by philosophers, poets, architects, social reformers, religious zealots, and artists for more than two millennia, an abiding and ever-evolving vision Eaton cogently surveys in this unique, thought-provoking, and resplendently illustrated history. Utopias, Eaton explains, are most often conceived as panaceas during times of profound social unrest- aim for the greatest collective happiness and harmony- and tend toward geometrically precise and orderly designs as though mathematical balance can control natures wildness and humanitys perversity. After presenting her working definition of paradisiacal cities, Eaton ventures forth to conduct elaborate guided tours of various utopias, many inspired by myths or religious texts. She explicates Platos ideal city- Sforzinda, the first Renaissance utopian proposal- the urban dream of early-sixteenth-century Englishman Thomas More, who coined the term utopia- and so-called new-world utopian playgrounds. As Eaton moves into the machine age, plans for ideal cities (Le Corbusier presides) grow more and more ambitious, extreme, and morbidly entrancing.