Maybe all along, the internal combustion engine has been the underlying cause of all our collective misdemeanours
I like a future vision. I’m instantly hooked when a corporate shows me its projection of 30 years hence – a proliferation of trees (mandatory), organic and exotic housing (vertiginous and then some), zero traffic (except for a handful of autonomous vehicles) bikes, wind turbines, solar panels, everyone smiling, green space and drones (now posing as waiters, pizza delivery men, Amazon drivers and first responders).
Naturally, urban harmony reigns and not a hint of dirt, pain, poverty or, come to think of it, anyone over the age of 40.
Private cars are villains (aeroplanes always seem to be let off the hook). Maybe all along, the internal combustion engine has been the underlying cause of all our collective misdemeanours.
So you can imagine when we reported on Dream the Future, (app.curiositystream.com/series/347) a series of ten programmes that explore how the march of technology will impact humans by 2050, I was online and ready to go, kicking off with the Cities of the Future and Transportation of the Future.
It’s worth a viewing. It’s inspirational and demonstrates the empowering dimension of technology, which sometimes gets lost in the real concerns we have (and rightly so) about technology as an agent of manipulation and control.
For me, the idea of a smart future is as much about escapism from the present as much as anything. I don’t want the run-up or the transition; I want the arrival point, the ideal of the matter. I want to buy into the fact that way over yonder will be better for all of us, and I don’t really want a ride on the learning curve.
But Dream the Future isn’t about theoretical concepts. It’s about groundbreaking, viable innovation and hopeful experimentation happening right now in urban planning, transportation, construction, farming and energy.
Solutions are resourceful, impressive and sustainable, positivity for the common good from the ground up.
It’s good to be reminded that nobleness of mind is still very much with us.