@ goodspeedupdate- Planning a Fake City
Our novels, films, and urban planning textbooks are filled with imaginary cities. Whether utopias or dystopias, most of these fictional cities imagine what a city could be at its best â€” or worst. However, few describe an average city, let alone map out a typical 1,011 square mile American city in excruciating detail, complete with a named streets and an imaginary history. Thatâ€™s precisely what my friend Neil Greenberg set out to do with his Fake Omaha project…
Doing the math, the entire metro area equals 1,011 square miles to scale.
RG: How big will the complete Fake Omaha be, both on paper and also if it were a real city?
NG: The Fake Omaha metro area exists on 17 sheets, each one 34 inches by 28 inches. All sheets observe the same scale (4 inches equals 1 mile) and design standards. Itâ€™s hard to give dimensions of the whole map, as itâ€™s oddly shaped and itâ€™s been fully assembled only three times.
Fittingly, my approach to planning the project mirrored the development of American metropolitan areas. I began with one sheet, a â€œzoomed outâ€ core area of Fake Omaha and a few close-in suburbs drawn at a 1 inch equals 1 mile scale. In this area, I mapped major roads and land features. I blew this up 400 percent, traced the base features onto the larger sheets, and mapped minor streets directly onto each panel. This original area amounted to maybe 10 map sheets. I kept going, and ended up mapping seven â€œexurbanâ€ sheets not part of the original core map. The sprawl ceased only when I ran out of paper.