Keep up with essential planning news and commentary, delivered to your inbox every Monday and Thursday.
Walter Elias "Walt" Disney (1901 – 1966) was a film producer, director, animator, and American icon. Besides founding an entertainment empire and his pioneering work in animation, Disney had an interest in urban planning and transportation in particular. The Alweg Monorail that debuted in Disneyland in 1959 was the first daily operating monorail in the Western Hemisphere, and Disney experimented with other innovative transportation concepts such as the WEDWay PeopleMover. Influenced by books he'd read by architect Victor Gruen and Ebenezer Howard's Garden City of To-morrow, Disney's original plans for EPCOT (ExPerimental Community Of Tomorrow) included an actual city for 20,000 people where the latest urban planning ideas could be tested.
His influence on the built environment is more widely seen in the theming of his amusement parks, the creation of "fake" environments through design elements.