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To dock in on the future: Dystopic science fiction scenarios and urban sustainable visions

Artikel i övriga tidskrifter
Författare Gabriella Olshammar
Publicerad i Journal of urban cultural studies
Volym 2
Nummer/häfte 3
Sidor 347–356
ISSN 2050-9790
Publiceringsår 2015
Publicerad vid Institutionen för kulturvård
Sidor 347–356
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1386/jucs.2.3.347_1
Ämnesord science fiction novels, utopia, dystopia, urban planning, City of Darkness, Lagos
Ämneskategorier Filosofi, etik och religion, Sociologi, Samhällsbyggnadsteknik

Sammanfattning

In the future worlds of science fiction novels, societal and physical dilemmas are at least as pressing as those we encounter on Earth today. These novels show, by way of far-reaching technology and fantastic creativity, how the human race has overcome extraordinary physical, language and social challenges. Still, no matter how fictitious the portraits of extraterrestrial habitats or space travels, the narra- tives seem deeply attached to the worst imaginable breaches between affluent and poor. The images of glittering towers that stand side by side with self-made shacks are, in fact, not much different from documented inequalities and distressed living conditions on Earth. This article addresses how a handful of science fiction novels express something of importance about contemporary urban environments. The aim is to spur a consideration of urban sustainable visions, and the discussion delves into two rhetoric questions: what is so tempting about the frequently used settings, with their excessive divides between rich and poor? Further, might such dystopian and frightening fictions possibly be more effective to think about visionary plans for future cities than utopian ones?

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