Whether your imagined city is a dystopian projection of earth as we know it, or located on an abundant distant planet, what the locals call it will say a lot about the world. While many existing cities have kept their names for thousands of years, some have changed along with the passing of kingdoms or religions, setting a precedent for dramatic future events to create new and unusual names for settlements.
Good Futuristic City Names
A good name inspires imagining of how a city came to be, the future events that led to its formation, and any undiscovered technologies and structures housed within its walls. It will also say something about your world at large, whether places are named following straightforward logic, or provide ominous hints to what lies within.
- The Levels
By the time its inhabitants arrived in the barren wastelands surrounding Chitin, the great creature whose shell formed its walls was long dead. The thick natural material had provided both shade from the sun, and an excellent defense against other would-be settlers.
- The Pulpits
Iliad-2 began life as an unkempt soldier’s camp, scattered on the edges of a great siege. As tales of the campaign traveled the lands, supporters flocked to the camp, eventually building a city far greater than its besieged neighbor.
- Terra Sancta
- Upper Hives
As the gold standard fell away to cryptocurrency, great mining facilities sprang up across the globe. Blockchain City soon became deserted of residential districts, instead homing thousands of ever-working computers.
- New London
This city’s industrial smog and toil are ancient history, after a worker’s revolt at the turn of the 22nd century. Now Tranquilis is a place of pilgrimage for any who seek to save the planet through cooperation with nature and each other.
When its cells were outnumbered by the condemned, the nation’s prison was forced to expand. Building by building, a city arose, named Heresy for all the treasonous souls confined within.
- The Depths
Japanese Sci-Fi City Names
Japanese city names often include geographical terms, indicating the place’s defining features. For example, Hamamatsu is so-called because it lies on the coast, and hama- means beach. It’s also not unusual to include directions in the name, so you can begin to map out your landscape in relation to other locations. Here are some examples to get your creative juices flowing!
Once settled on a monumental peak, the burst banks of rivers and seas led Kakoyama to appear as a mere hill above the waves.
Hamasora hovers above the clouds, supported by gargantuan structures of future engineering. The blue sky beneath acts as a reminder of coastal living on the earth’s surface, for the few who still remember the old days.
Have these city names inspired you to come up with your own futuristic landscape? Let me know your ideas in the comments below, and share this article with any others who are dreaming of a different future – hopefully a utopian one!