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From Thomas More’s 'Utopia' onwards, utopian literature has projected plans, schemes, and visions of cities intended to embody and deliver a good life. This chapter addresses the significance of such utopian perspectives on urbanism and processes of urbanization, both historically and in the current environment. Recent times have often been depicted as ones “after utopia” and the dark horizons of contemporary urbanization might seem to be better captured by dystopian literature and film. Yet in some of their contemporary critical forms, dystopias can themselves be seen as underpinned by renewed utopian impulses oriented towards radical change. This chapter concentrates on utopian perspectives on urban questions by considering significant interplays between literature, planning visions, and urban theory, including through reference to major figures such as Edward Bellamy and David Harvey. Arguing that current global challenges of urbanization and climate crisis require what Mike Davis has termed “a vast stage for the imagination”, the chapter asserts the potential value of revisiting and re-evaluating utopian urban visions of the past, so as to seek supposedly “impossible” paths beyond the constraints of dominant “realism”.
TitelThe Palgrave Handbook on Utopian and Dystopian Literature
RedaktørerPeter Marks, Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor, Fátima Vieira
ForlagPalgrave Macmillan
StatusAccepteret/In press - 2022

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