Yesterday, Paleo-Future pointed out a map from 1961, produced by the Chicago Tribune, in which the future urban landscape of the U.S. has been speculatively mapped – as it was projected to exist in the bright and futuristic year of 1975.
Ahead of its time in predicting the urban condition within which most of us now live, the map and its accompanying short article suggest that the “‘regional cities’ of tomorrow will be nearly continuous complexes of homes, business centers, factories, shops and service places. Some will be strip or rim cities; some will be star-shaped or finger-shaped; others will be in concentric arcs or parallels; still others will be ‘satellite towns’ around a nucleus core.”
Unfortunately, it gets the future of U.S. transportation all wrong:
They will be saved from traffic self-suffocation by high-speed transportation – perhaps monorails that provide luxurious nonstop service between the inner centers of the supercities, as well as links between the super-metropolises themselves.
Having ridden Amtrak somewhat extensively up and down the east coast, I would respectfully suggest that a different infrastructural future has come to pass.
Meanwhile, if you look at a bigger version of the map, you’ll see cities like the Chicago Crescent, the Michigan-Ohio Fingers, and Los Angeles Rim City – but it’s the sprawling urban complexes at the core of the country that seem so strangely interesting to me, like the Chattanooga Strip and the Central Missouri Metro, all linked together by arteries of high-speed rail.
What might a futuristic super-city in the hills and valleys of Tennessee really look like? What might a Mississippi mega-city really be?