As long as people have lived in cities, dreamers as varied as architects, writers, movie directors, environmentalists, and cartoonists have tried to envision what future urban life might look like. On the following slides are some predictions for cityscapes from 1894 to the 1964 World’s Fair and beyond.

Here, in the 1982 movie Blade Runner, director Ridley Scott's vision of how Los Angeles might look in 2019.

As long as people have lived in cities, dreamers as varied as architects, writers, movie directors, environmentalists, and cartoonists have tried to envision what future urban life might look like. On the following slides are some predictions for cityscapes from 1894 to the 1964 World’s Fair and beyond.

Here, in the 1982 movie Blade Runner, director Ridley Scott's vision of how Los Angeles might look in 2019.

Future Cities From the Past

Visions of Urban Landscapes
Visions of Urban Landscapes

As long as people have lived in cities, dreamers as varied as architects, writers, movie directors, environmentalists, and cartoonists have tried to envision what future urban life might look like. On the following slides are some predictions for cityscapes from 1894 to the 1964 World’s Fair and beyond.

Here, in the 1982 movie Blade Runner, director Ridley Scott's vision of how Los Angeles might look in 2019.

King Gillette's Metropolis (1894)
King Gillette's Metropolis (1894)

King Camp Gillette, perhaps better known for having popularized the safety razor, wrote The Human Drift, about Utopian social planning.

Moses King's Cosmopolis of the Future (1911)
Moses King's Cosmopolis of the Future (1911)

Moses King published a series of illustrated guidebooks about not only the present but visions of the future of the streets and skylines of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" (1927)
Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" (1927)

Austrian film director Fritz Lang created Metropolis, a dystopian vision of the year 2026.

Photograph by Everett Collection
Frank Lloyd Wright's Broadacre City (1935)
Frank Lloyd Wright's Broadacre City (1935)

American architect Frank Lloyd Wright at Rockefeller Center, New York, with a model of his Broadacre City concept for suburban development on April 15, 1935.

Photograph by Keystone View Company via Getty Images
World's Fair, Futurama (1939)
World's Fair, Futurama (1939)

Seeing the world of tomorrow: The Futurama feature of the General Motors highways and horizons exhibit at the 1939 New York World's Fair, showing how visitors viewed the world of tomorrow from comfortable moving sound chairs while touring a vast scale model of the American countryside, with the exhibit covering more than 35,00 square feet. Futurama was the largest scale model ever constructed; it included more than 500,000 buildings and houses, over a million trees, and 50,000 motor vehicles, many of which were in motion.

Photograph by Bettmann/Corbis
World's Fair, Futurama Detail (1939)
World's Fair, Futurama Detail (1939)

An extremely detailed miniature model of the New York City area, on display at the Futurama exhibit in the General Motors pavilion at the 1939 World's Fair.

Photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt/Pix Inc./Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Welthauptstadt Germania (1943)
Welthauptstadt Germania (1943)

A model of the 180,000-seat Great Hall sits on display in an exhibit in Berlin, 2008. The hall, intended to be the centerpiece of the German capital to be known as "Welthauptstadt Germania" ("World Capital Germania"), had the Nazis won World War II, was designed by Albert Speer, Hitler's chief architect.

Photograph by Adam Berry/Bloomberg
Disneyland's House of the Future (1958)
Disneyland's House of the Future (1958)

Tourists at Disneyland visit a plastic "house of the future" built by Monsanto Chemical Company, 1958.

Photograph by Bettmann/Corbis
1964 World's Fair
1964 World's Fair

An architectural model of the General Motors Pavilion, designed for the 1964/1965 New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, Queens. Inside, the Futurama ride took visitors on a tour of "the near-future."

Photograph by Archive Photos/Getty Images
World's Fair, Futurama 2 (1964)
World's Fair, Futurama 2 (1964)

General Motors' 1964 World's Fair exhibit Futurama included a conjectural look at life in an undersea city.

Photograph by Archive Photos/Getty Images
Triton City (1967)
Triton City (1967)

Model of Triton City by R. Buckminster Fuller.

Photograph: Whitney Museum via Bloomberg
Matt Groening's "Futurama" (1999)
Matt Groening's "Futurama" (1999)

The animated TV series envisions life on Earth in the year 2999.

Dongtan (2007)
Dongtan (2007)

Visitors to Chongming Island, near Shanghai in China, can stop at a visitors' center that includes this model of how a three-island group will be developed in the near future.

Photograph by Tim Johnson/MCT/MCT via Getty Images