The concept of cities being built from the ground up is often discussed. For some, no new city can compete with one that has stood the test of time, as the present form is a result of continuous changes. For others, newly drawn up cities incorporate the knowledge and experience gained by present ones and can so easily avoid the mistakes of the past. In any case, the issue of new cities has been providing food for thought and contemplation, particularly during recent years, when inner city problems are more pronounced than ever.
This research project aims to activate this discussion centred on the example of Konstantinos Doxiadis’ “City of the Future”, while at the same time examining concurrent as well as predating and following new city models. At the same time it attempts to highlight the issues of “Utopia” and “Dystopia”, as these have been stated in the past and compare them to more contemporary views about “Ideal Cities”.
By focusing on Doxiadis’ life, an attempt to gauge the impact of his own methodical approach on his body of work is made, as well as the importance of contemporary and predating architectural movements. Furthermore, reference is made on his analyses of human habitats of the past, present and future, focusing on the science of “habitation” and his proposals regarding the development of “dynamic habitats”, finally resulting in the worldwide city, “Ecumenopolis”.
Moreover, reference is made to the crisis of Modernist movement crisis and the emergence of the 1950s urbanism, but also to the transition from Modernists’ “CIAM” to “Delos Symposia”, which Doxiadis himself organized. Furthermore, two of his most important works – the city of Islamabad and the Punjab University – are analysed, highlighting the present reality of those works. Finally, his role in contemporary urban planning is stated, while an attempt to compare his ideas with future cities is made. The research project ends by setting certain fundamental questions regarding the future of cities as well as the role of the contemporary architect in them.