- "America is an irradiated wasteland. Within it lies a city. Outside the boundary walls, a desert. A cursed earth. Inside the walls, a cursed city, stretching from Boston to Washington D.C. An unbroken concrete landscape. 800 million people living in the ruin of the old world and the mega structures of the new one. Mega blocks. Mega highways. Mega City One. Convulsing. Choking. Breaking under its own weight. Citizens in fear of the street. The gun. The gang. Only one thing fighting for order in the chaos: the men and women of the Hall of Justice. Juries. Executioners. Judges."
- ―Judge Dredd on Mega City One.
|Mega City One|
|Skyline of Mega City One|
|Country:||United States of America|
|State:||Massachusetts to Virginia|
|City:||East coast from Boston to Washington, D.C.|
Mega City One (also called Mega-City One or Mega-City 1) is the dystopian setting of Dredd.
Established in 2032, Mega-City One was conceived as an answer to the massive overcrowding plaguing the cities of North America. Since almost all of the US is now uninhabitable due to radiation which has caused severe toxic desertification nationwide, six mega-states have been established on the ruins of the old cities, often building over major cities and connecting several states with unbroken concrete. The only people to travel between these states are Judges. A violent, vast metropolis spanning 438 miles, originally designed to house 350 million citizens, the population of Mega-City One soon swelled to an astounding 800 million people with crime rates skyrocketing so badly that people were afraid to leave their homes. An average of 17,000 crimes are reported daily in Mega City One. Things are only made worse when an addictive new drug called "Slo-Mo" is introduced, which slows the user's perception of time to 1% of normal. The drug is a hit with junkies, who use it to make the bleak, horrific metropolis more beautiful. The answers to the dilemmas of unchecked crime and overcrowding were few but large: unmanned patrol drones that fly over the city, observing for criminals and heightening police powers so that police (now known as Judges) have the authority of judge, jury and executioner on the spot. The only way the mega states could house this extensive population is by building up, with 200-story slum housing project towers known as "Mega-Blocks", such as Peach Trees, where people usually spend their entire lives.
The end shot of Mega City One shows the Mega Blocks rising from the concrete like tombstones in the mist. After the Chief Judge tells Judge Dredd to throw Judge Anderson into the "deep end", Judge Dredd replies by claiming that the entire city is a deep end.