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Too bad this one-million-person city from New York to San Francisco was never built

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Otherwise, we could pretend we were living in a Judge Dredd storyline. This 1969 design by Alan Boutwell and Mike Mitchell — the aptly titled Continuous city for 1.000.000 human beings — never took off, but this design and other fanciful megastructures offer a glimpse into an arcology-filled future the past never delivered.

This million-person city was presented with several other massive cities at the Megastructures Reloaded exhibition that ran in Germany in Autumn 2008. The show focused on visions of gargantuan urbanism that appeared in such 1960s futurist architecture groups like Archigram and Archizoom.

Many of these designers focused on primarily theoretical spaces, but Boutwell and Mitchell saw their continent-spanning arcology as a feasible project — if the proper gumption was to be applied, that is. Explained the curators of Megastructures Reloaded:

It spanned on hundred meter high pillars straight across the American continent. Its interior combined all classical functions of urban life and was connected by a complex traffic system that was differentiated by speed, transportation and distances [...] Alan Boutwell and Michael Mitchell described their project with the self-confidence and urgency that is characteristic of that time: This is our city. We have not sensationalized. All that we have described is feasible today.


Of course, it's not exactly clear why such a wonderfully insane metroplex would be necessary, but its layout certainly predated the now internet-famous Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel. I mean, it's not like the duo was trying to drain the Mediterranean or build the Eiffel Tower(s) in the middle of the ocean.


You can check out concept art for some other loopy retrofuturistic megastructures at the Archigram Archival Project, Hafiz Amirrol's website (where there are synopses of several unbuilt avant-garde cities, like the Superstudio at left), and the website RNDRD.


Digital rendering of Boutwell and Mitchell's design by Won Sok Choi. Hat tip to EdificeComplex!