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Enlarge: Introduction: the history of The City of Tomorrow

So, you'd like to see Retropolis!


The Retropolis Travel Bureau would like for you to see it, too: and to see it safely, economically, and with the greatest of modern efficiency. You've taken the first step already - you've found this booklet! We hope that our Guidebook will give you all the information you need to make the most of your visit. Don't hesitate to consult us at the many kiosks and information centers that you'll find throughout the city.

If you're very new to the city you may be wondering just how it came to be established here.

As schoolchildren we all learn the story of Lycourgos Retropoulos, the itinerant urban planner who is credited with the design and construction of the city that - as our schoolbooks tell us - now bears his name. According to urban folklore Retropoulos convinced the old city council to remake their community along new and radically different lines, with customs, institutions, and a curious kind of zoning law to match; and over a period of years his plan was realized under Retropoulos' own supervision.
Welcome to the City of Tomorrow!

The transition may not have been entirely smooth. Tradition tells us that there was a heated confrontation during a community meeting. Prominent (or formerly prominent) citizens demanded a return to their old status and their old society, and Retropoulos patiently heard them out before proposing his solution: that he, who was about to embark on an extended visit to the cities of Earth and her colonies in space, only asked that they follow the new plan until his return. At that time they would form a committee to examine the results and enact whatever changes the committee proposed. The entire assembly swore an oath to do just that.

Retropoulos, we are told, then prepared for his grand tour and took his leave of the city in a great ceremony. He reminded everyone that they'd sworn to follow the new urban plan until he rejoined them; there were cheers and an emotional send-off and after this, Retropoulos was seen no more.

No one has ever established just where he went. Certainly, he never came back. But it was quite some time before anyone understood exactly what had happened and by the time anyone did understand, they were so used to their new way of life that they collectively shrugged and carried on.

That's the story we learn in school. Historians, on the other hand, are somewhat skeptical: they tell us there is no evidence that any of this really happened. Curiously, all records of Retropoulos' visit and the founding of the city seem to have disappeared.


Reader Comments
There is one reader comment on this page.
DBL says:
April 28th, 2012 at 11:52 pm

I wish someone would do that to Orlando,Fl. LOL!!

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