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"SF looks towards an imaginary future, while fantasy, by and large, looks towards an imaginary past."
- Frederik Pohl

Town In One Building  
  This is the basic idea behind an arcology, or other single structure that is intended to provide living space and mall.  

A thing Graham had already learnt, and which he found very hard to imagine, was that nearly all the towns in the country, and almost all the villages, had disappeared. Here and there only, he understood, some gigantic hotel-like edifice stood amid square miles of some single cultivation and preserved the name of a town -- as Bournemouth, Wareham, or Swanage. Yet the officer had speedily convinced him how inevitable such a change had been. The old order had dotted the country with farmhouses, and every two or three miles was the ruling landlord's estate, and the place of the inn and cobbler, the grocer's shop and church -- the village. Every eight miles or so was the country town, where lawyer, corn merchant, wool-stapler, saddler, veterinary surgeon, doctor, draper, milliner and so forth lived. Every eight miles -- simply because that eight mile marketing journey, four there and back, was as much as was comfortable for the farmer. But directly the railways came into play, and after them the light railways, and all the swift new motor cars that had replaced waggons and horses, and so soon as the high roads began to be made of wood, and rubber, and Eadhamite, and all sorts of elastic durable substances -- the necessity of having such frequent market towns disappeared. And the big towns grew. They drew the worker with the gravitational force of seemingly endless work, the employer with their suggestions of an infinite ocean of labour.
From When the Sleeper Wakes, by H.G. Wells.
Published by Unknown in 1899
Additional resources -

(Note: this item was formerly [and incorrectly] attributed to Jules Verne. Sorry about that.)

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from When the Sleeper Wakes
  More Ideas and Technology by H.G. Wells
  Tech news articles related to When the Sleeper Wakes
  Tech news articles related to works by H.G. Wells

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