Visionaries like Ebenezer Howard, Frank Lloyd Write, and Le Corbusier were, in their own right, well ahead of their time in implementing answers to the technological and social issues that were effects of industrialization, migration, and the changing economical and political scenes of the ever changing world. Through their desire of integrating urban design into the social responsibility that they believed their cities lacked, what planners have gained is the notion that there can be a greater utility to city layouts through efficient design.
What makes these designers examples of exceptional visionaries are their outlook towards the integration of technological advancements to the social aspects of modern life. Despite the fact that these designers believed that the technological advancements of their time has “…outstripped the antiquated social order….In their ideal cities…technology would fulfill its proper role…and bring order and freedom, prosperity and beauty” (Fishman 27; 1977). The goals of these designers had a higher purpose than mere efficiency, they were the conceptions of reforming outdated means of living to those who are at the whims of the economical and political powers of their time.
The modern designer’s goal is to provide densely populated areas a means of making their lives more managable, in spite of the difficulties that come with living in an area that is densely populated. The priority of these plans have been in providing livable residencies that can provide a common good to those who inhabit it. But would these conceptions of harminous city utopias answer and ammend the problems of our older metropolises? Desipite the successes that have come out of cities like Tyson’s Corner (Levy 204; 2006), the visions of these designers try to answer problems that go beyond architectural issues and allocatement of buildings. Political and economical issues are impediments towards creating utopian-like, urban centers, but they are obstacles that go into consideration in current city designs. The hegemonic visions created by these planners collide with the realities of social injustice and inequalties, but their attempts to envision solutions to urban problems is the quality of these visionaries that will continue to guide the modern planner in creating better cities.
Fishman, Robert. Urban Utopias: Ebenezer Howard, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Le Corbusier 1977
Levy, John M. Contemporary Urban Planning 2006