Model Soviet Cities and What Engineers Can Learn From Them

Civil engineers and software engineers have faced many similar challenges. Let's look to the city planners to see how they overcame their challenges.

A sign welcoming visitors to the abandoned city of Pripyat, Ukraine
Photo by Mick De Paola / Unsplash

Whenever one refers to a model Soviet city, perhaps images such as Pripyat or Magnitogorsk come to mind. Although, no doubt, history has dictated a different fate to these cities than the original designers had intended, the ideas they stood for can still inspire the engineers of today.

No, I am not referring to Soviet-era socio-economic norms or political standings. Instead, I’m discussing why these microcosms ever existed in the first place. The inspiration behind these projects is what caused these cities to rise. The execution of some of these examples, however, can be attributed to their downfall.

Nevertheless, the world has plenty of examples where inspiration has met the demands of reality. Other planned cities such as Paris, Washington, D.C., and Canberra, Australia, continue to bear fruits of their careful planning. These shining examples of carefully orchestrated civilization, much like their Soviet counterparts, tell a story that software engineers ought to heed.