Once of the best examples of what I'm trying to get the term for is Wonder City, in the Batman games. It was built to be a futuristic haven with clean energy, robot sentries, and laws to "stop the sinners."

I know of the word dystopia, but I'm not sure if it applies here. This city looks like a utopia.

Thank you very much for your help!

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  • How about "fautopia"? – Hot Licks Feb 13 at 22:28
  • 1
    My word for it is London, but that's just me. – Nigel J Feb 14 at 0:26
  • In addition to the excellent answers below, see Potemkin Village. This is a well-known story of a Potemkin village - "The Nazi German Theresienstadt concentration camp, called "the Paradise Ghetto" in World War II, was designed as a concentration camp that could be shown to the Red Cross, but was really a Potemkin village: attractive at first, but deceptive and ultimately lethal, with high death rates from malnutrition and contagious diseases. It ultimately served as a way-station to Auschwitz-Birkenau." - from the linked wiki article. – Phil Sweet Apr 15 at 10:10

The term that came to my mind was false utopia.

From tvtropes:

You live in a place that can only appear in the most beautiful dreams. The world is perfect, all is well, everyone is happy...

... or so you think. Your cozy little world is not as perfect as it seems. It never was. You just haven’t noticed yet.

A False Utopia is a place, town, or even a world that seems or at least is supposed to have no faults, while in reality it just hides them very carefully from its inhabitants. Many False Utopias are Dystopias in disguise...


I think you are looking for "false Utopia". I looked up a definition of Utopia and one of the definitions I read as an "impractical or idealistic" scheme..., so the idea of "no such thing" is subtly built into the definition - on any scale of government. Two synonyms for Utopia offered on the thesaurus page were: Shangri-La and Happy Valley which might be what you are looking for.

Wikipedia also has an interesting "List of Utopian Literature" page that might have some more ideas.





Dystopia (from Ancient Greek δυσ- "bad" and τόπος "place") was an alternative to Cacotopia or Kakotopia and now we see coined terms such as "Fauxtopia"

One early form in 1747 was “Dustopia” as an antonym by Henry Lewis Younge in his "Utopia or Apollo’s Golden Days"

However the modern use (18th century onwards) is more commonly applied to describe the social order of a dystopian society rather than a physical locality.

Most popular dystopian writings avoid using it as the name for a place even though you will find "Dystopia : Capital City" listed on imdb

The most classic name for such a mythical city I can think of is Metropolis (supposedly based on NewYork)

And we can eerily see the parallels with Dreamland (Brooklyn 1904 to 1911) Which aspired to be better than neighbouring Luna Park but steadily declined until May 27 1911 when spectacularly Hell Gate was engulfed in flames

In summary there have been many

κακάtopia s

Damnation somebody beat me to it 5 years ago


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