Walt and the Promise of Progress City

Author: Sam Gennawey

Publisher: Ayefour Publishing

Pages: 374

Release Date: Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What is this book all about?

This book explains why Walt Disney want to build EPCOT, describes how this community of the future would have looked like and how it was designed after several key principles and practices for effective urban planning.

Why should you add this book to your collection?

  • Gives you a unique description of how Walt’s EPCOT must have looked like if it would have been built. The simulation is based on facts and well-founded assumptions.
  • Shows that the original EPCOT was the centerpiece of the Florida project and of the utmost importance for Walt (more then the construction of the Magic Kingdom).
  • Lists the essential building blocks of a Disney theme park.
  • Describes the most important theories in urban planning and shows us how these theories were applied by Walt Disney and its Imagineers while designing Disneyland and the original EPCOT.
  • Gives us an answer to fundamental questions such as “Why did Walt want to design and build a city of tomorrow”, “Would Walt’s EPCOT have worked”, “Which elements of the original EPCOT design have been implemented” and “how did Walt’s EPCOT (and Disneyland) influence the way we design public spaces”.
  • Shows that Walt was a born innovator, someone who was determined to change / improve several aspects of the world, even if he lacked the necessary experience or knowledge to make it happen.
  • Tells us about the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, the Disneyland rivers, the Golden Oak Ranch, the Mineral King project, the Magic Skyway, the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the WEDway PeopleMover, the Tom Sawyer island, the Monsanto House of the Future and Walt Disney World Storm Water Management system.

Can I take a little peek inside?

Some excerpts:

(Photos aren't part of the book)

“The success of Disneyland convinced Walt that he might be able to take what he had learned and apply it toward building a beautiful, functional city where people not only played and worked but also where they lived. Walt had confidence in his creativity. He had already changed the world of animation forever. His studio was light-years ahead of other movie studios in function and design. His theme park redefined the world of amusement parks. Maybe now he could turn his attention to transforming the urban experience.”

“At the center of the model is a huge mega-structure with a dome-like shape punctuated by skylights and a gleaming 30-story hotel tower. The central city is surrounded by a greenbelt filled with a wide variety of structures. Surrounding this greenbelt are single-family homes and more parks. Way off in the distance is an atomic power plant. Jet airplanes are seen leaving the Progress City airport.” 

“The promise of Progress City was that EPCOT would become a laboratory to test new technologies, processes, and policies to create more livable urban environments. Walt said the purpose for EPCOT was “to build a living showcase that more people will talk about and come to look at than any other place in the world.”

“Even though EPCOT was never built as Walt imagined it, the Walt Disney World project has been influential in the way we design public spaces. Just like Disneyland, it has raised our expectations on how the built environment can meet the public need.”

“Walt’s EPCOT would have worked. Price reminded me that the concept and design for EPCOT was not revolutionary but evolutionary, based on tried-and-true architectural technologies, a creative and thoughtful blend of land uses, arranged in a way where the hotel and day guests are coming from one direction to meet the residents from another direction in the middle. This would be a community with the built-in critical mass necessary for sustainable economic success.”

Where can I purchase the book?

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