Cities of the future that failed their design

Sometimes, although the design on the paper of a city seems ideal, it ends up failing. And this is due to many factors. When talking about design, reference is not made only to its architecture. But also the way in which their spaces and structures connect. This connection makes cities become a kind of body, endowed with different organs.

The big problem of these cities begins when one of those parts fails miserably and becomes a kind of cancer. And this organ spreads its malignant cells to the rest of the city design. Sowing chaos and making that city become unsustainable.

On this occasion, you will see four cities that once represented a success in its design. But over time they became a nightmare for the lives of its inhabitants.


This is a city located in India and where the British Crown greatly influenced. After the independence of British power was reached, in 1947, Prime Minister Nehru decided to establish this city as the capital of the Punjab and Haryana states.

The design of this city was commissioned by American architects Matthew Nowicki and Albert Mayer. Nowicki would die in an accident, forcing Mayer to give up the project. Both architects had proposed the idea of presenting the city as a garden, following the style of the American suburbs.

So the project was delegated to Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris. What he proposed was to unify the city in different organs, but delimiting its functions. Thus, he achieved that his design had a stage to work, another for entertainment, another to live and another to circulate.

And it is precisely this division that unleashes the catastrophe of its design. Displacements between zones would become unsustainable. Transportation would also affect mobility and trade separated from its potential customers. Today, the big problem that Chandigarh has is its population density.


The design of this city was commissioned to the architect Oscar Niemeyer. However, the urban design was rethinking by Lucio Costa. The big problem that Brasilia would face is that it was thought of as a city for the people. Today, only the wealthiest families in the country live there, due to the high cost of living.

The issue is that the city separated into 2 large areas, a monumental area where life and work flows, and a residential one. Its design was designed to provide it with large green areas and avenues, to give it a feeling of spaciousness. This amplitude results in excessive use of displacements to reach one area and another in the city. And this excessive use of cars and other means of transport causes quite considerable circulatory chaos, so traffic jams happen every day.

The city is nowadays little useful in terms of habitability, due to the great extension of its zones. Brasilia does not exceed half a million inhabitants within the city. However, there are residential areas surrounding the city where the figure advances to two million people.

Masdar City

The project of this city began in 2006. This is one of those cities designed to be ecological and self-sufficient. In addition to it, it is located next to the Abu Dhabi airport. The design of this city was commissioned to the construction company Foster + Partners, which is directed by the architect Norman Foster.

The great problem of Masdar City is that it tends to enclose itself. Equipped with walls that allow you to stay somewhat safe from sandstorms and winds. It has technology to absorb sunlight and generate electricity.

Beyond its confinement, as we can see in the image, the city has not continued its construction. What has been built is a very small space of its original design. So despite having invested a lot of efforts in its design, having been endowed with a lot of technology and efficiency, it barely has residents. Well, it does not have the minimum infrastructure to meet the needs of a population.


This is one of the cities that is part of Valencia, Spain. He was born with the idea of being “the city of the future” since 2000. Its design was designed by the architect Valenciano Guallart. The great failure of Sociopolis is that it remained on the planes. An idea that was not executed and that has caused that the territory of today is presented as desolate and desert.

It was expected that this city will combine aspects such as the Valencian orchard with the evolution of the capitalist economic system. The project was a mixture where the green and natural areas would create very pleasant spaces, redefining the lifestyle of the Valencians who will inhabit it.

Only six buildings of the 18 that were estimated were built. Today, the city is simply a scenario that is characterized by its loneliness and abandonment, a post-apocalyptic place that gives no hope of a prosperous future.

Even so, there are some inhabitants who live in that city. A city that for many is located in the middle of nowhere.

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