2057: The City of the Future- Doubting Castle 2

by peterjameswalsh

Feature image source: weburbanist.com

Well, I do have a little soft spot for futurist documentaries like this. Maybe its a bit of nostalgia, I was brought up on the back of wonderful shows from the 90′s such as Beyond 2000 and its successor Beyond Tomorrow. Remember where Amanda Keller got her start? Needless to say, this was the latest in umpteenth amounts of documentaries spouting about how different the future is going to be from the now.

Featuring everyone’s favourite futurist and scientist, Michio Kaku, who always takes on the challenge of trying to articulate the future in layman’s terms. His delivery of his script is well, scripted and his capacity to talk to the audience in what seems to be a childlike nature felt to be disconcerting. One apparent problem with thus type of documentary is that it always predicts the future using extensions of technology available at the time so just five years later already feels dated. Obviously saying this now, what we see as amazing now will be considered archaic in the future!

Being a keen viewer of documentaries like this, there has also been a trend lately of discussing the future as some sort of dystopian, technology filled hell-hole. I don’t understand why this is, but it seems to be the way lately instead of some of the earlier wonder-laden delights that dreamers envisioned in their heads.

Merely taking a look at videos on Youtube and other documents and blogs, we see that 1960′s Cities of the Future were places filled with delights and were deemed to be an exciting place to be. One of these, paid for by Dupont was definitely a product of the times. Filled in a world where everything is made with plastic, the centre of attention is the family, again reflecting 60′s values.

I guess this documentary reflects some more recent opinions and values, where everything is just a bit more realistic and negative. Oh and the every fearful approach of Big Brother. That’s something that we all love and hate.

Pretty pictures and old ideas of the future? Have a look!

Exciting really…

Seriously though, the UN reckons that 70% of the world’s population will be living in urban surrounds by the year 2050. To me, that’s a sign that we seriously need to be looking at combating ways of urban decline and making cities a livable and interesting place to be.

What’s that I hear? Yes, more TED talks on the topic. Seriously…watch them, its worth it. Lofty pipedreams and oversimplification of the videos aside.