In the California desert area, some 120 kilometers from Los Angeles, rests a town called California City. This particular town is extraordinary due to the fact that it was envisioned as a much larger city during its zoning stage. Preparations for its expansion were made in the form of streets, but no other infrastructure of its major part has ever been realized. Fascinating bird’s-eye view photos demonstrate the landscape of a carefully thought-out and planned street network, which more resembles land art or antique geoglyphs from the Nazca Desert in Peru, than it does paved streets carved into the dust and gravel. The city’s origins date back to 1958, when entrepreneur and real estate merchant Nat Mandelsohn bought 320 km² of land in the Mojave Desert, where he planned to set down foundations for a master plan of the new large Californian city. According to his ideas, the planned city should have reached the size of Los Angeles one day, but such presumptions, due to economic and financial factors, never came to pass. Today the area outside the city center is but vast, dusty desert, dappled with a network of planned residential streets, of a somewhat eerie appearance where there are traces of a human touch which abruptly retreated into leaving the place void and undefined. California City itself, whose structure on Google Earth is explicitly read as “lost“ within spacious vacant desert corridors, counts a population over 14.000 inhabitants today, and is accompanied by interesting numbers as a consequence of being an unrealized city. Namely, according to its size, California City is the third largest city of the State on the west coast of the USA, but by population it’s one of the smallest in California. In the strange geography of the area, two distinct landmarks stand out, a building of the city jailhouse and the Honda automotive-testing facilities. Mandelsohn’s thwarted and somewhat Utopian vision of the new City, the spacious remains of an accidentally realized landscape, bear witness to the economic collapse of an idea decades before today’s recession, when similar scenarios are happening worldwide.