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"...the space defense initiative drove the USSR bankrupt, and it originated at my house in Tarzana."
- Larry Niven

Machine City  
  A city that is a self-maintaining whole entity.  

This is a very early reference to the idea of a city that is really one large, complex machine. It is self-maintaining; it is designed to exist forever, without any intervention by man.

The city was divided into two sections, a section of many strata where machines functioned smoothly, save for a deep, humming beat that echoed through the whole city like a vast, unending song of power. The entire metal framework of the place echoed with it, transmitted it, hummed with it. But it was soft and restful, a reassuring beat.

There must have been thirty levels above ground and twenty more below, a solid block of metal walls and metal floors and metal and glass and force machines.


(Machine city from 'Twilight' by Don Stuart (John W. Campbell).)

Seven or even seventy million years don't mean much to old Mother Earth. She may even succeed in wearing down those marvelous machine cities...

When the builders made those cities, they forgot one thing. They didn't realize that things shouldn't go on forever.

From Twilight, by John W. Campbell.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1934
Additional resources -

Readers familiar with Robert Silverberg may recall the city on Lemnos, from his novel The Man in the Maze; also, in Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles he refers to cities that kill invaders and clean up after themselves.

Compare to the Machine from The Machine Stops (1909) by EM Forster, the government machine from Mechanocracy (1932) by Miles J. Breuer, the games machine from The World of Null-A (1945) by AE van Vogt, central computer from The City and the Stars (1956) by Arthur C. Clarke, the Vulcan 3 computer from Vulcan's Hammer (1960) by Philip K. Dick and the WatchdØg from WatchdØg (1972) by Jack C. Haldeman.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Twilight
  More Ideas and Technology by John W. Campbell
  Tech news articles related to Twilight
  Tech news articles related to works by John W. Campbell

Machine City-related news articles:
  - Songdo IBD Smart City
  - UK's Self-Repairing Cities

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