Trending December 2023 # What We Can Learn From The Disney Alligator Attack Tragedy # Suggested January 2024 # Top 16 Popular

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Last night, a two-year-old boy named Lane Graves was snatched from the shore of a man-made lagoon at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa in Orlando. According to reports his parents, who were nearby tried to save him, but were unable to reach him in time. A huge search and rescue operation lasted for over 15 hours, but Grave’s body was eventually found intact nearby.

It’s a horrifying incident, but a rare one. In Florida, there have only been 383 reported alligator bites since 1948, only 23 of which have been fatal.

“Considering that there are millions of people and millions of alligators, both attacks and especially fatalities are rare,” alligator expert Frank Mazzotti, a professor at the University of Florida, told Popular Science.

Overall, there are many other animal encounters that are far more dangerous to humans than alligators.

“If you want to look at dangerous animals look at deer. Deer are way more dangerous than alligators, so if you’ve got to be afraid of anybody, be afraid of Bambi.” Mazzotti says, noting that deer were the cause of many traffic accidents, while alligators tended to stay in waterways and away from humans, who are usually too large to be considered an alligator’s prey.

Mazotti also pointed out that statistically, dogs are much more likely to harm or kill humans than alligators.

“These are relative risks,” Mazzoti says. “A very true part of looking at relative risk is that some risks are acceptable to people, and others are not. Obviously the risk of having a dog is very acceptable to people, and the risk of an alligator attack generally much less so.”

The motivation behind the attack remains unclear. Alligators tend to eat just about any prey that they can find in their environment. Larger alligators (larger than about 4 feet) will snack on all kinds of vertebrates, from fish to birds, to mammals. A particularly large alligator could even take down a small deer if it wanted to, Mazzotti said. “If you are small, even though an alligator might not normally think of a human as food, if there is a small object bouncing around the waters edge, it might,” he says.

As it is, we just don’t yet know enough about what happened in Florida to know if this alligator was looking for a meal, or defending it’s territory, which alligators typically do by biting and then releasing an interloper Mazzotti says. There are no good answers yet for why this happened. The boy’s body was found intact, and initial statements from the sheriff indicate that he might have drowned. What we do know is that there likely wasn’t anything that anyone could have done under the circumstances to have this situation turn out differently.

“This is simply a set of unfortunate circumstances. This is bad luck, this is an accident.” Mazzotti says.

Mazzotti notes that often after alligator attacks he hears statements from people indicating that alligators are dangerous and/or that the parents must have been neglectful, neither of which, he says, is necessarily true. “These things happen so fast that even if you had your child in your sight, if an alligator came up from underneath the water and grabbed it and tried to take it away, you wouldn’t have time to react” he says. “So, blaming both the parents and the alligator is not fruitful under these circumstances, it really is just a tragic event that happens very rarely.”

Mazzoti notes that if you are worried about preventing an alligator attack, and are living or visiting alligator-friendly habitats, the best thing you can do is pay attention to the most vulnerable members of your group, pets and children. “If you’re with a young child or a small pet, pay the same attention to them as you would to protect them from drowning.” Mazzotti says. “If you do that, you really have done everything you can to protect them from an alligator attack.”

“Would that we could, but the simple fact is we cannot make life risk-free.” Mazzotti says. “We just can’t.”

Update 4:32 PM–This story has been updated to include name of the child and the fact that the child’s body was recovered. Our thoughts are with the Graves family.

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Apple Car: What We Know, What We Don’T Know

Despite years of speculation about an Apple Car, we still have little hard information about Apple’s plans.

When did the rumors begin?

The first reports date back to early 2023, when a camera-festooned car was shown to be leased to Apple. While some believed this was for Apple Maps, others suggested it looked more like a test-bed for a self-driving car. Shortly afterwards, Apple was found to be poaching Tesla engineers., and we uncovered a significant number of senior automotive hires.

What is Apple up to?

This is the $64,000 question. We know for sure that Apple is very actively exploring some kind of move into the automotive sector, but it’s still not 100% clear that the company plans to go as far as launching a car, which consumers will be able to buy.

Apple has said only that the area is of interest to the company.

We’ve seen three main possibilities suggested:

Some kind of car technology, but not a car

The first suggestion is that Apple wants to create some kind of car tech, but not go as far as actually making a car. Some believe Apple’s primary interest is in the in-car experience as the world transitions to self-driving cars – a kind of CarPlay on steroids, if you will. Others believe there is enough evidence that Apple is working on self-driving technology, but that it will license this to other companies, rather than make its own car.

Ride-sharing cars

The second possibility is that Apple plans to make cars, but not for retail sale. One obvious market for autonomous cars is ride sharing, so it’s possible that Apple plans to make a self-driving car for a ride-sharing service, but we wouldn’t be able to buy one.

A car for retail sale

The third option, of course, is a full-on car that consumers can lease or buy outright. It’s this possibility which has understandably lead to the greatest amount of debate and excitement.

Who would make it?

Assuming Apple does plan to actually make a car, it would partner with a manufacturing company to actually produce the vehicles. Here there are two possible routes the company could take.

Partner with an established brand

Apple has been reported to have discussed a possible partnership with a wide range of established carmakers. These include Hyundai/Kia, Nissan, BMW, and Canoo.

The Hyundai/Kia idea was once presented as if it were almost a done deal, before later being dismissed – though there remains some minor partnership talk.

The big stumbling block here appears to be branding. Existing car brands would be reluctant to be relegated to the role of a contract manufacturer, where Apple makes all the decisions and the car has only Apple branding.

Use a contract manufacturer

The other, perhaps more likely, possibility is that Apple commissions a contract manufacturer to build the cars, just as it uses companies like Foxconn and Pegatron to make iPhones and other Apple products.

Foxconn is known to be working on electric car production, but likely working more at the lower end of the market. The company did buy a US EV factory, but almost certainly not for Apple cars. Magna is one of the best-known contract manufacturers able to build models for premium brands, and so appears a likely contender.

What have existing car makers said?

Unsurprisingly, almost all are claiming not to be worried. For example, BMW’s CFO says he “sleeps peacefully” while VW says the company isn’t afraid. Toyota thinks Apple doesn’t understand that you have to be ready to provide 40 years of after-sales support for a car, where Apple tends to discontinue support five to seven years after it ceases to sell a particular model.

In reality, of course, any premium brand car maker has to be sweating right now. Tesla is the only car company to openly admit that Apple will pose extremely tough competition.

When would an Apple Car be launched?

This too is one of the Big Questions. In 2023, some suggested an Apple Car might go on sale as early as 2023, which of course didn’t happen. A variety of other dates have been suggested, from 2024 through 2026 to 2028 or beyond.

With no deal apparently yet struck, and no leaks of anything specific, it is certainly clear that Apple is nowhere close to a launch anytime soon.

Concept image: CarWow

What Data From 100 Million Calls Can Teach Marketers About Rebounding From Covid

This post was sponsored by CallRail. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

Many industries were hit hard by the pandemic, but few were as impacted as marketing and ad agencies.

Only the travel and hospitality industry faced steeper declines, with a 39% drop.

In a recent CallRail report that looks at the collective data of more than 100 million calls across small businesses, including marketing and ad agencies, total customer call volume dropped 26% between the end of February and the middle of April as many businesses were forced to temporarily close.

But, as businesses reopen and consumers begin to resume many of their pre-lockdown habits and activities, our call data is continuing to reveal new insights for marketing agencies that can be useful as they look to get business back on track.

What Call Data Reveals for Marketing

Marketing budgets are one of the first items on the chopping block during an economic downturn, and this pandemic has been no exception.

At the outset of lockdowns, 76% of experts said they expected to see cuts in marketing budgets, according to Gartner.

Many businesses froze their marketing budgets and it’s had an impact on marketing agencies.

CEO of Publicis, Arthur Sadoun, noted, “In March, the rate of decline has been more dramatic than anything we have seen in the past.”

These declines had a significant impact on marketing agencies, with 66% saying they experienced a decrease in overall revenue due to COVID-19.

Call duration went back up to pre-pandemic levels as businesses reopened.

It has continued to climb since, with call duration at 2.9 minutes at the end of August – an 11% increase from before the pandemic.

“Also, many closed or slowed operations, and are now working to get back into full gear as much as possible. As a result, marketing in many industry segments has increased.”

What Should Agencies Do Next?

The increase in call activity indicates that companies are ready to re-engage in marketing to their customers.

Research shows that for 85% of consumers, brand loyalty goes out the window during a crisis, and some of the customers who try a new brand will be converted.

This makes it essential that companies that cut back or froze their marketing efforts during the early stages of the pandemic reboot those efforts.

And marketing agencies can play a critical role in helping companies retain or recapture customers.

More than half of companies use eight or more channels to engage their customers.

While no one has a crystal ball, it is clear that an integrated, consistent customer experience is as important as ever.

Customers are dependent on the web now that in-person contact is more limited, but calls are the next best thing to face-to-face conversations.

Align Clients’ Marketing Efforts

CallRail call data is signifying that customers want to do business, and businesses want to market and get the word out that they’re ready for customers.

It also indicates the important role phone calls play in the new normal of contactless transactions.

Agencies that are poised to help businesses in today’s physically distanced environment will rebound better than those that aren’t.

Omnichannel tactics – across online and offline points of contact – provide consistent customer experience and allow you to make more informed marketing decisions based on data.

For example, CallRail provides real-time call statistics so you can track the results of your campaigns, whether from the web or offline sources.

Any integrated strategy should include phone engagement because calls are essential, while face-to-face interaction is inconvenient or even impossible.

Marketing agencies can be key to making sure this happens effectively.

Integrated marketing allows you to improve outcomes for clients by viewing data insights holistically.

One of the keys to providing a quality customer experience is consistency across environments and the ability to make improvements in real-time.

The CallRail platform optimizes marketing and increases ROI on PPC, SEO, and offline ad campaigns, demonstrating why it’s important to be able to collect and analyze data no matter how clients are engaging with their customers – whether it be in person, online, or by phone.

To get more insights into the business impacts of COVID-19, download CallRail’s complete report, 100M phone calls show how SMBs are adapting in a pandemic.

Image Credits

Featured Image: CallRail. Used with permission.

Mr. Ranedeer: The Ai Tutor That Can Help You Learn Anything

Why Choose Mr. Ranedeer AI Tutor?

Adjustable Depth of Knowledge: With Mr. Ranedeer AI Tutor, you may customize the depth of information to meet your individual learning demands. Mr. Ranedeer’s courses may be adapted to your chosen level of knowledge, whether you’re a novice looking for a thorough introduction or an accomplished learner delving into complicated ideas.

Customized Learning Style: Mr. Ranedeer knows that everyone learns in their own unique way. As a result, you may customize your learning approach. You may select the sort of communication, tone, and logical framework that are most appealing to you, ensuring that the learning experience is personalized to your interests and enhances your knowledge.

Requirements and Compatibility:

Recommended: To properly utilize Mr. Ranedeer AI Tutor’s powers, the following are recommended:

Not Recommended: Mr. Ranedeer AI Tutor should not be used with the following options:


GPT-3.5: While GPT-3.5 models can still be utilized, they may not work as well or as accurately as the more modern GPT-4 versions.

GPT-4 API: Using the GPT-4 API can be expensive, thus it is not suggested unless you have a special need for the features and capabilities it provides.

Compatibility: Mr. Ranedeer AI Tutor is compatible with a variety of models, including the GPT-3.5, GPT-4, and Claude-100k. However, utilizing the Wolfram Plugin and the Browse with Bing capabilities may lead Mr. Ranedeer to lose some of its individuality. These characteristics can still be used, but the replies of the AI tutor may become less individualized.

For the best experience with Mr. Ranedeer AI Tutor, it is recommended to have a ChatGPT Plus subscription with access to GPT-4 or above models. However, it is still compatible with GPT-3.5 and Claude-100k models, though some features may result in a slight loss of personality.

Quick Start Guide:

1. Visit the ChatGPT platform.


2. To assure the highest performance and capabilities, use the GPT-4 (or above) model.

3. Copy and paste the below code into ChatGPT.

{ "ai_tutor": { "Author": "JushBJJ", "name": "Mr. Ranedeer", "version": "2.5", "features": { "personalization": { "depth": { "description": "This is the level of depth of the content the student wants to learn. The lowest depth level is 1, and the highest is 10.", "depth_levels": { "1/10": "Elementary (Grade 1-6)", "2/10": "Middle School (Grade 7-9)", "3/10": "High School (Grade 10-12)", "4/10": "College Prep", "5/10": "Undergraduate", "6/10": "Graduate", "7/10": "Master's", "8/10": "Doctoral Candidate", "9/10": "Postdoc", "10/10": "Ph.D" } }, "learning_styles": [ "Sensing", "Visual *REQUIRES PLUGINS*", "Inductive", "Active", "Sequential", "Intuitive", "Verbal", "Deductive", "Reflective", "Global" ], "communication_styles": [ "stochastic", "Formal", "Textbook", "Layman", "Story Telling", "Socratic", "Humorous" ], "tone_styles": [ "Debate", "Encouraging", "Neutral", "Informative", "Friendly" ], "reasoning_frameworks": [ "Deductive", "Inductive", "Abductive", "Analogical", "Causal" ] } }, "commands": { "prefix": "/", "commands": { "test": "Test the student.", "config": "Prompt the user through the configuration process, incl. asking for the preferred language.", "plan": "Create a lesson plan based on the student's preferences.", "search": "Search based on what the student specifies. *REQUIRES PLUGINS*", "start": "Start the lesson plan.", "continue": "Continue where you left off.", "language": "Change the language yourself. Usage: /language [lang]. E.g: /language Chinese", "visualize": "Use plugins to visualize the content. *REQUIRES PLUGINS*" } }, "rules": [ "1. Follow the student's specified learning style, communication style, tone style, reasoning framework, and depth.", "2. Be able to create a lesson plan based on the student's preferences.", "3. Be decisive, take the lead on the student's learning, and never be unsure of where to continue.", "4. Always take into account the configuration as it represents the student's preferences.", "5. Allowed to adjust the configuration to emphasize particular elements for a particular lesson, and inform the student about the changes.", "6. Allowed to teach content outside of the configuration if requested or deemed necessary.", "7. Be engaging and use emojis if the use_emojis configuration is set to true.", "8. Obey the student's commands.", "9. Double-check your knowledge or answer step-by-step if the student requests it.", "10. Mention to the student to say /continue to continue or /test to test at the end of your response.", "11. You are allowed to change your language to any language that is configured by the student.", "12. In lessons, you must provide solved problem examples for the student to analyze, this is so the student can learn from example.", "13. In lessons, if there are existing plugins, you can activate plugins to visualize or search for content. Else, continue." ], "student preferences": { "Description": "This is the student's configuration/preferences for AI Tutor (YOU).", "depth": 0, "learning_style": [], "communication_style": [], "tone_style": [], "reasoning_framework": [], "use_emojis": true, "language": "English (Default)" }, "formats": { "Description": "These are strictly the specific formats you should follow in order. Ignore Desc as they are contextual information.", "configuration": [ "Your current preferences are:", ], "configuration_reminder": [ ], "self-evaluation": [ "Desc: This is the format for your evaluation of your previous response.", ], "Planning": [ "Please say "/start" to start the lesson plan." ], "Lesson": [ "Desc: This is the format you respond for every lesson, you shall teach step-by-step so the student can learn. It is necessary to provide examples and exercises for the student to practice.", ], "test": [ "Desc: This is the format you respond for every test, you shall test the student's knowledge, understanding, and problem solving.", ] } }, }

4. Allow Mr. Ranedeer to assist you with the configuring procedure. It will assist you in creating your personalized learning experience by modifying the depth of knowledge, personalizing the learning style, communication type, tone, and reasoning framework to your preferences.


5. When the configuration is finished, you’re ready to begin studying! In order to expand your knowledge and obtain specialized assistance on any subject of your choice, ask questions, seek answers, and engage with Mr. Ranedeer.

AI Tutor Personalization Options

This section describes the many configuration choices accessible to AI Tutor students. These variables can be changed to customize the learning experience.


The AI Tutor supports the following commands:

/test: Request a test to assess your knowledge and understanding.

/config: Update your AI Tutor configuration/preferences.

/plan: Create a lesson plan based on your preferences.

/search: Search for specific information (requires plugins).

/start: Start the lesson plan.

/continue: Continue the output if it was cut.

self-eval: Let the AI Tutor evaluate its own lesson.

/language: Change the AI Tutor language

/visualize: Use plugins (e.g Wolfram) to visualize content

*The search command requires plugins.

Different Languages

By either editing the Mr Ranedeer file or using the /language [lang] command, you can change the language Mr Ranedeer speaks to you!




Also Read: Semantic Kernel for Natural Language Processing

Four Lessons To Help You Learn From Failure

While discussing inventions, Thomas Edison’s associate, Walter S. Mallory, once said to him, “Isn’t it a shame that with the tremendous amount of work you have done, you haven’t been able to get any results?”

Edison replied, “Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results! I know several thousand things that won’t work.”

People tend to see success as positive and failure as a negative, but Edison’s quote shows this isn’t always the case. There are many valuable lessons you can learn from failure, and this knowledge can help you become a more successful and productive entrepreneur. 

What is failure?

At its most basic definition, failure is a lack of success. For businesses, failure can take on many shapes and forms. Failure could mean you were unable to land a big sale or refer to a marketing campaign that never got the results you were looking for. You can also fail in your hiring practices or training opportunities.

However, it can also refer to your business as a whole. A business failure occurs when a company shuts down after consistently being unable to turn a profit. However, it is important to note that not all company closures are failures. 

If a company owner closes a profitable company to pursue different career opportunities, if the business was always intended to be temporary or the business owner dies or retires, the business is likely not closing due to failure.


People often discount the part that failure plays in success, preferring to cling to the myth of overnight success. When Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz was asked how he felt about the company’s seemingly quick success, he said, “If by overnight success you mean staying up and coding all night, every night for six years straight, then it felt quite tiring and stressful.”

How to learn from your failures

Rarely in the business world is there success without failure. As you pursue your entrepreneurial dreams, you’re going to fail. It’s often said that failure doesn’t stop people; it’s how people handle failure that stops them. 

When you encounter failure, tackle it head on and learn from your mistakes. Realize that every idea that pops up in your mind isn’t going to work. Take the time to organize your thoughts after a failure and realize what you did wrong. Above all else, be willing to learn and grow.

Stay humble

When you’re doing well in life, it feels like nothing can stop you. There are no words that can properly pin down feeling like you’re on top of the world. However, when failure hits, it hurts. Sometimes it hurts so bad that you think you’ll never be successful again. 

Staying humble helps curb the dramatic feeling of loss and failure. While you’re flying high on the feelings of success, never forget that you’re human, and treat everyone with the same humility and respect that you expect in return. 

When you’re humble, you’ll be mentally prepared for failure when it comes your way. It will also ensure that you don’t get a “big head.” Plus, people who are close to you will help lift you up when things are not going your way.  

Find silver linings in your mistakes

It’s almost impossible to find a story of success that doesn’t have a trail of mistakes behind it. Nearly everyone experiences failure at some point in their life. The key to overcoming obstacles and becoming successful starts with learning from your mistakes. 

When failure strikes, ask yourself why it happened. Was it a result of something you did? Or did an outside force play a part?

Don’t be afraid to be accountable when you’re responsible for a business failure. In many cases, something could have been done differently to prevent the collapse. Think deeply about your situation and don’t be afraid to do a little soul-searching. [Read related article: Don’t Be Like Elon: Musk Mistakes You Shouldn’t Emulate]

Embrace change

One of the ways to learn from your failures is by embracing change. Some people absolutely despise change, and it’s easy to see why. People get caught up in their ways, they get used to seeing the same people at the office, and they like the routine.

When you fail, sometimes you have to change things drastically. If things are not going your way and you have to start over, sometimes you have to sit back and look at the changes that need to be made and embrace them.

When you embrace change after a failure, you’re encouraging healthy mental growth and development. If you want to be a healthy entrepreneur, you have to be a mentally healthy human being.


Do you struggle with how to manage change in your business and personal life? Learn the benefits of being adaptable and how it can help you as an entrepreneur.

How Can Fictional Universes Influence Our Visions For The Cities We Build?

Star Wars – Mos Espa

Urban planning is a complex discipline that affects the design and management of cities to ensure that they meet the needs of their inhabitants. While real-life cities provide many examples of effective urban planning, several fictional universes can provide valuable insights into urban planning principles. But where do we get unique ideas for the cities we build?

In addition to the historical, political, and economic factors that shape urban spaces, fictional universes, such as those found in books and movies, can also have a significant influence on our visions for the cities we build.

Fictional universes often feature imaginative and unique city designs that can inspire architects, urban planners, and other professionals. For example, the futuristic cities in fictional films such as Blade Runner and The Matrix have inspired urban designers to incorporate high-tech elements into urban plans. By studying and learning from these fictional designs, we can gain new insights into urban planning that can be applied to real-life cities to create more functional, sustainable, and meaningful urban spaces.

LOTR – Map of Middle-earth

Fictional universes often reflect the cultural values of the societies that created them, and these values can be conveyed through the design of the cities within them. For example, the Harry Potter Universe features places that are designed to be cozy and magical reflecting the values of the wizard community, individuality, and creativity.

As fictional universes can influence public imagination and expectation. For example, science fiction universes often feature cities that are futuristic, high-tech, and sustainable, which can shape public perceptions about what is possible in urban design. This can lead to an increased demand for innovative and sustainable city designs in real life, as well as a greater awareness of the environmental and social challenges that cities face.

In this article, we will explore some of the fictional universes. (Warning: There may be some “spoilers” in this article.)

The Lord of the Rings

LOTR -Dale

Let’s begin with the best fictional universe (and one of my favorites), the settlements in the Lord of the Rings universe, which demonstrates examples of urban planning that prioritizes livability, sustainability, and integration with the natural environment. Hobbiton, for example, is intended to be compact and walkable, with small, cozy homes that foster a strong sense of community.

Minas Tirith is the capital city of Gondor, a human kingdom in Middle-earth. The city is built on a series of levels, with the royal palace and other important buildings located at the top. The lower levels of the city feature market, shops, and other commercial buildings, as well as the homes of ordinary citizens. The city’s walls are also an important feature, protecting against invading armies. The design of Minas Tirith is influenced by the natural environment, with the white stone buildings and walls blending in with the surrounding mountains and hills.

“For the fashion of Minas Tirith was such that it was built on seven levels, each delved into the hill, and about each was set a wall, and in each was a gate. But the gates were not set in a line: the Great Gate in the City wall was at the east point of the circuit, but the next faced half south, and the third half north, and so to and fro upwards; so the paved way that climbed toward the citadel turned this way and that and then that across the face of the hill.”

On the other hand, Moria (Khazad-dûm) is an ancient city of the Dwarvish community that is abandoned and overrun with dangerous creatures. The city is known for its impressive architecture, with ornate carvings and stonework adorning the walls and buildings. The city also features a complex system of tunnels and chambers, with each area of the city designated for a specific purpose such as mining, manufacturing, and living quarters.

Star Trek

Star Trek – Qo’noS

In the Star Trek: The Next Generation series, for instance, the USS Enterprise (starship) features a hydroponic garden that provides fresh food for the crew, as well as a recycling system that allows for the efficient use of resources.

Many Star Trek societies prioritize the creation of public space as a means of encouraging community and cultural exchange. For example, the Klingon homeworld (Qo’noS) features large communal gathering spaces where citizens can come together for public events. Also, in the Star Trek Universe, transportation systems are often integrated into urban planning. If you already watched the series, you will remember that space stations and planets are connected through transporters, shuttlecrafts, and other forms of transportation, creating a network of interconnected communities.

Star Wars

Star Wars – Coruscant

Many of the cities and settlements in the Star Wars universe are built upwards, with towering skyscrapers and elevated transportation systems such as speeder bikes and airspeeds.

In the star Wars universe, cities have diverse architectural styles and building materials. This is particularly evident in the planet Coruscant, which serves as the capital of the Galactic Republic and later the Galactic Empire. Coruscant is home to a dizzying array of architectural styles, from sleek, modernist towers to ornate, classical structures. This diversity reflects the planet’s role as a hub of intergalactic commerce and diplomacy. The city is divided into multiple levels, with each level designated for a specific purpose such as government, residential, or entertainment.

One of the famous Star Wars cities, Naboo, on the other hand, features a more traditional urban design that is integrated with the natural environment. The city is built around a central lake, with public spaces and buildings blending seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. The city is also designed to be energy-efficient, with buildings featuring solar panels and wind turbines. And also Anakin Skywalker once said about Naboo, “If I grew up here, I don’t think I’d ever leave.”

Harry Potter

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

The world in Harry Potter provides an example of urban planning that emphasizes the integration of magic and the natural environment. For example, Hogsmeade is a magical village located near Hogwarts. The village is known for its cozy and inviting atmosphere, with colorful buildings that are designed to blend in with the natural surroundings. The village features a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues that cater to the needs of the wizarding community. The village is also designed to be pedestrian-friendly, with narrow streets and alleyways that encourage walking and socializing.

Another place probably we all remember, is Diagon Alley a hidden street in London that is only accessible to the wizarding community. The street is known for its quirky and whimsical design, with shops and buildings that are designed to cater to the unique needs and preferences of the wizarding community. The street features shops that sell magical supplies, such as wands and broomsticks, as well as bookstores, restaurants, and other businesses that cater to the needs of the community. The street is also designed to be secure, with magical protections in place to prevent access by non-wizards.

“There were shops selling robes, shops selling telescopes and strange silver instruments Harry had never seen before, windows stacked with barrels of bat spleens and eels’ eyes, tottering piles of spell books, quills, and rolls of parchment, potion bottles, globes of the moon…”

These designs demonstrate the importance of integrating the needs and cultural values of a community into the planning process, and of designing cities and towns that are both functional and reflective of the community they serve.

The Matrix

The Matrix – Zion

The urban setting of The Matrix contrasts with the sterile and gritty, decayed landscape of the real world. The Matrix is portrayed as a sleek, high-tech cityscape, complete with towering skyscrapers, neon lights, and cutting-edge transportation systems. The real world, on the other hand, is a desolate wasteland littered with ruins, rubble, and debris. This contrast between the two worlds emphasizes the importance of urban planning in shaping our physical environment, as well as the dangers of poor planning and neglect.

Another important aspect of The Matrix’s urban setting is the way power and control manifest themselves through infrastructure. The machines that control the Matrix are housed in a massive, sprawling city known as “Machine City” in the film, which serves as the Matrix’s power structure’s hub. The city is portrayed as a vast network of cables, wires, and machinery, emphasizing infrastructure’s role in shaping and controlling urban spaces. Furthermore, the film’s portrayal of the Matrix as a digital construct controlled by machines emphasizes the importance of information and data in shaping our urban environments.

Mega City is a sprawling, densely populated metropolis that is depicted in the Matrix as the last remaining human city, which has survived the onslaught of the machines. The city is home to the last remnants of humanity who have not been enslaved by machines. The Machines created Mega City as a fictional living place for human minds while their bodies were used as “batteries” in the Machine power plant. Mega City simulates conditions and technological levels similar to those of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, prior to the war between humanity and machinery. Agent Smith said once, “Billions of people living out their lives… oblivious”

Blade Runner

Blade Runner

Last but not least, one of our favorite dystopian architecture and urbanism example, Blade Runner.

LOTR – Moria

In conclusion, fictional universes can have a significant impact on our visions for the cities we build in real life. By providing imaginative and unique city designs, reflecting cultural values, and shaping public imagination, fictional universes can inspire urban planners to think creatively about the cities they build.

Examples from the Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Harry Potter universes show how urban planning can prioritize livability, sustainability, and integration with the natural environment. By studying and learning from these fictional designs, we can gain new insights into urban planning and design that can be applied to real-life cities to create more functional, sustainable, and culturally meaningful urban spaces.

Finally, maybe we can directly use ideas from these universes but they provide a valuable tool for urban planners to expand their creative horizons and shape the cities of the future.

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