Walden Three’s concept for rationally planned, sustainable cities is a compellation and extrapolation of many different works throughout history; but its primary inflences are the literary works Walden, by Henry David Thoreau; Walden Two, by Dr. B.F.Skinner; and the concept of REBT by Dr. Albert Ellis.

James W. Walter, Jr., founder and president of Walden Three, was initially inspired by many science fiction writers, as well as architect Paolo Solari's designs of floating and other mega-cities in ARCOLOGY : The City in the Image of Man, discovered by Mr. Walter in the Whole Earth Catalog in 1969.

Mr. Walter has been gathering ideas and concepts for Walden Three since 1985, when he moved to Hong Kong to research the city as a possible setting for the fictionalized novel, Walden Three, a work in progress.