Strange, Beautiful and Unexpected: Planned Cities Seen From Space

by Betsy Mason

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Most planned cities probably aren’t designed with the view from space in mind, but some of them create incredible patterns on the landscape that can only be truly appreciated from above.

Planned cities are laid out all at once and built from scratch. They are designed with a purpose in mind: to optimize traffic flow, or to maximize access to green space or to keep everyone in their proper place. They are born from many different inspirations. Some are a compromise between two cities vying to be their country’s capitol, built in between in neutral territory on previously undeveloped land. Some are built to keep workers near a nuclear power plant or copper mine in the middle of nowhere. Some are intended to be a utopia — with public gardens, promenades, throughways and harmony — to cure the “urban disease” rampant in most ad hoc cities.

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These cities, towns and communities can be found all over the world and throughout history, hundreds of years into the past and several decades into the future. Here are some of the best views of planned cities from space.

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WIRED / Science / Published: November 29, 2012
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