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Basic Information

Ecumenopolis is a "city made of the whole world". The term was coined in 1967 to discuss the notion that urban areas may spread like ribbons around the globe, following the major highways, and eventually blend into one another. There are already parts of the world where this is occurring. Cities swallow up and incorporate their suburbs, then new suburbs spring up on the busiest roads leading out of town.

Eventually, given continuous growth, the Ecumenopolis might fill in the pockets between the ribbons and become a Planet City, as seen in the cities of Coruscant (in Star Wars), Ravnica (Magic The Gathering), or, to a lesser extent, Night City (Cyberpunk). Of course, overpopulation and depletion of resources is likely to lead to a Malthusian Catastrophe or even The End Of The World As We Know It before that happens.

See also:


2. Movies: The 4 weakest of the Star Wars films. Perhaps there's a connection? :)
3. Card Game: Magic: The Gathering, in particular the Ravnica block comprised of Ravnica, Guildpact, Dissension.
4. RPG: Cyberpunk 2020 and Cyberpunk V3. In 2020, Night City is just a really large new city. In the 3rd Edition of Cyberpunk, it's swallowed up most of California.

Game and Story Use

  • How does a city that size possibly feed all it's people?
    • I'll have some more Soylent Green, please.
    • Dish it up for yourself, my hand just started blinking.
    • Tank Meat
    • Well, we could just farm Atlantropa.
    • An ecumenopolis probably covers only the land. That still leaves the oceans to be farmed. Also, every building or arcology might have a roof garden (or an entire farm, for the larger ones)… and, depending on the technological level, there might be orbital farms made from asteroids.
    • Or they may have an arrangement with a Farm Planet to supply them.
  • This blending of cities may lead to homogeneity of world culture, and eventually to a World Government. Maybe even Peace On Earth.
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