This paper is concerned with how future cities have been visualised between 1900 and 2014, what these projections sought to communicate and why.
The paper is organised into eight sections. Each of the first seven sections is highly illustrated by relevant visualisations to capture the main ways in which the thematic content is evident within future cities. We present a brief summary at the end of each section to understand the key issues.
• First, we describe the relevance and power of imagined cities and urban visions throughout popular culture, a multi-disciplinary discourse, along with an explanation of the methods used.
• Second, we examine the role of different media and its influence upon the way in which ideas are communicated and also translated, including, but not limited to: diagrams, drawings, films, graphic novels, literature, paintings, and photomontages.
• Third, we interrogate the ‘groundedness’ of visualisations of future cities and whether they relate to a specific context or a more general set of conditions.
• Fourth, we identify the role of technological speculation in future city scenarios including: infrastructure, mobility, sustainability, built form, density and scale.
• Fifth, we examine the variations in socio-spatial relationships that occur across different visualisations of cities, identifying the lived experience and inhabitation of the projected environments.
• Sixth, we consider the relationship of data, ubiquitous computing and digital technologies in contemporary visualisations of cities.
• Seventh, we establish the overarching themes that appear derived from visualisations of British cities and their legacy.
In conclusion, we establish a synthesis of the prevalent patterns within and across legacies, and the diversity of visualisations, to draw together our findings in relation to overarching narratives and themes for how urban life has been envisaged and projected for the period under scrutiny.
From allowing young people to socialize without the chaperoning of clergymen and other merchants of morality to finally liberating women from the constraints of corsets and giant skirts (the “rational dress” pioneered by bike-riding women cut the weight of their undergarments to a “mere” 7 pounds), the velocipede made possible previously unthinkable actions and interactions that we now for granted to the point of forgetting the turbulence they once incited.
The History of Cartography Project is a research, editorial, and publishing venture drawing international attention to the history of maps and mapping. The Project's major work is the multi-volume History of Cartography series. Its inter-disciplinary approach brings together scholars in the arts, sciences, and humanities. By considering previously ignored aspects of cartographic history, the Project encourages a broader view of maps that has significantly influenced other fields of study.
Organized by region and time period, The History of Cartography looks at maps in the context of the societies that made and used them. The volumes integrate existing scholarship with new research, examining an unprecedented range of artifacts from local maps to those of the cosmos. The books are extensively illustrated and contain detailed footnotes, appendixes, and reference maps. The award winning series, founded by J. B. Harley and David Woodward, is now edited by a team of scholars and published by the University of Chicago Press.
The night men of Victorian London had it rough. Tasked with hauling away "night soil"—human waste—under the cover of darkness, night men ventured into the city's 200,000 cesspits armed with only buckets, rope, and the desire to make money at any cost.
Between midnight and 5 a.m., night men climbed down into the pits of human effluvia, filled their buckets, and hauled the waste into carts. It was dangerous, disgusting work: beyond the appalling stench and hard physical labor, night men risked death by asphyxiation due to the overpowering gases and fumes.
Prior to the installation of the sewer system, London was a city of overflowing cesspits that drained into a putrid Thames. Cholera ran rampant and the air was a miasma of human waste smells, slaughterhouse run-off, and factory emissions.
Conditions were particularly noxious during the summer of 1858, a time known as The Great Stink. The smell of the sewage-filled Thames was so horrid that it affected operations at the Houses of Parliament. A transcript from parliamentary proceedings on June 11, 1858 notes that "Gentlemen sitting in the Committee Rooms and in the Library were utterly unable to remain there in consequence of the stench which arose from the river." In an attempt to mask the smell, the parliamentary curtains were soaked in chloride of lime. But the distracting odor remained.
Compiling the Latin dictionary has also given glimpses of life in the medieval era.
In establishing the Latin word for "muzzle", there was a record from 1252 showing that a muzzle had to be made for a polar bear, kept in the Tower of London, which had to be restrained when it was brought to fish in the river Thames.
The word for chimney - "caminus" - was sourced from a description of an earthquake which hit England in the 1340s which toppled chimneys.
There were also strange tales from coroner's courts, such as an account of a cat chasing a mouse down a well and then a woman drowning when she tried to rescue the cat.