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The Ecotopia 2121 book

Embark upon an evocative and challenging journey across the globe, through time and space, and into an enchanting and imaginative eco-future.

 The Book 

The Ecotopia 2121 book was published by Skyhorse Publishers (NY) in landscape format on the 500th birthday of Thomas More's original Utopia book.

"This is an impressive and monumental work"

Luc Hens, Int. Journ. of Environment & Pollution

"Very few academics ever produce anything as stunning and imaginative as this."
Times Higher Education
"Alan Marshall has produced a masterpiece with 'Ecotopia 2121'. It is an inspirational narrative of artistic vision, critical scholarship, ecological imagination and wisdom." 

Dr. Jennifer M. Gidley, President,

World Futures Studies Federation

"A curious and creative volume that should interest and entertain urban planners and policy-makers."

Publishers Weekly

"Like William Morris's 'News from Nowhere', 'Ecotopia 2121' combines rational thought with imagination and that is where its power and persuasiveness lie."

John Blewitt, Aston Business School 

"One of the strangest books that I've ever reviewed ... quirky ...beautiful ... and like all good utopian stories, there are some darker reflections."

Brian Clegg, Popular Science

"Beautifully illustrated with 100 images of what the future might entail, it is a coffee-table book calling for revolution"
Resurgence and Ecologist Magazine


The Ecotopia 2121 book is a gigantic gallery of 100 cityscapes designed via 'scenario artwork'. The story of each city is then described through a narrative that details their transformation into an ecofriendly utopia. Ecotopia 2121 is radical in imagination and radically Green; a manifesto to engage the Anthropocene, to survive the climate crisis, and to prosper in a new ecological age.

You can order Ecotopia 2121 from all the usual outlets; online and in real bookstores.


Ecotopia 2121 is the winner of the 'Future Forecasts' category at the 2016 Green Book Festival.
The Ecotopia 2121 Project, the master-class seminar at Mahidol University, was the winner of the 2015 Kenneth M. Roemer Award for Innovation in Course Design.
Ecotopia 2121 won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Nautilus Awards in the photography/artwork section.
Books by Alan Marshall

 Also, displayed below are some other environmental books by the same author...

 Utopia's 500th Year 

Old Map of European City


It has been 500 years since the birth of the Utopia concept.


Whilst on an ambassadorial assignment in Antwerp, the English statesman Thomas More (later to become 'Sir Thomas' and then, later still, 'Saint Thomas') published Utopia, a book about an ideal society on an imaginary island in an unknown place faraway across the seas. 


For five centuries, the idea of Utopia has gone on to flourish as in iconic concept in the world of art and literature and beyond into philosophy, politics, and the general public imagination. In celebration of Utopia’s half-millennium birthday, the book Ecotopia 2121, was released exactly 500 years -- to the day -- after More’s Utopia book was published. Well, in actual fact the exact publication date of Utopia is not precisely known but it was sometime in the winter of 1516/17.


Utopia is generally thought about as that place on Earth -- usually imagined -- where human society is resplendent with all things good and harmonious and the people who live there are free and happy. Utopian cities have appeared in fables, in stories, on film, and in manifestos. Perhaps, also, Utopian cities have existed in the real world, if only for a short time, or at a small-scale.  

Sometimes the word Utopia is bandied about pejoratively to refer to a world of impossible idealism and fantasy. Utopia, under such a framework of thought, is the term we use to describe a place where we might all desire to live but which is ultimately unattainable. Equally, though, the word is used in a serious and earnest manner under the belief that through radical change or through gradual evolution, the world can develop into an ideal, even idyllic, place. This project, Ecotopia 2121, might be seen as sympathetic to the latter way of thinking.

Utopia is sometimes theorized upon on a single lone feature in society. For example, the abolition of all human suffering or the achievement of full equality but it is just as likely to be posited in a multidimensional manner involving many features. Some commonly expressed themes in utopian writing include the following:


-- social harmony, equality, and justice meld symbiotically with personal freedom

-- peace and love overcome hatred and violence

-- material welfare is achieved for all without recourse to greed or exploitation

-- ethnic and spiritual diversity is tolerated and racial harmony is valued  

-- work, if it exists, is almost always enjoyable and human life is almost always satisfying.

All these qualities shine through in very diverse ways via the scenarios of the Ecotopia 2121 project.

When Thomas More first thrust Utopia upon the world in 1516/17, he was being intentionally ambiguous as he invented the word. Although Thomas More was English, like all good European scholars of his century, his classical language skills were superb. The word Utopia is thus derived from the Greek-language, in actuality, but in the process of bringing it from Greek into an English form, it could refer to either a good land or a nowhere land (or, indeed, both).

To design a Utopian society often means to be at once imaginative and optimistic but also somewhat critical and subversive. Thomas More patterned this enduring combination when he painted his optimistic account of an idealistic Christian Utopia within which was embedded a subtle and subversive critique of King Henry VIII’s England. In the end, Henry VIII had More’s head chopped-off and set on a spike over London Bridge. This wasn’t for writing the book, specifically, but for siding with the Roman Catholic Church against Henry VIII on one too many matters. For his commitment to Roman Catholicism, Thomas More was declared a Saint by Pope Pious XI.


Strangely, perhaps, Thomas More was also honored centuries later by the Soviet Union for his communistic ideals about the common ownership of property. During Soviet Russia, the name of Thomas More was in ninth position from the top of Moscow’s Obelisk of Revolutionary Thinkers.

Subsequent to Thomas More’s 500 year old book, whenever Utopian thinkers have set out to design or discover the best possible socially-ideal place, they often set out to attack certain aspects of their own present day society -- cloaking their visions in both hope and satire. I dare say this may be the same impulse that sometimes flows through the 100 Utopian scenarios explored in the Ecotopia 2121 project

For a detailed investigation into many of the 100 cities of Ecotopia 2121, visit the Case Studies page

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