Advanced? Not so fast.

(image from Burbank Times via LATimes Blogs)

It’s been a while [yes, since I’ve last posted here, but also] since Kenneth E. Norwood of the Burbank City Planning Department sat down to write about what life was like in February 2009. It’s been, in fact, 50 years.

Norwood’s brief essay, composed as if it were written last month, was stuffed into a ‘time capsule’ (aka mason jar) along with a roll of film in 1959 and stowed in an overpass near the Warner Brothers lot. The Burbank Times has a feature article about its unveiling complete with a fun pairing of the 1959 photos to 2009 shots.

What’s really interesting to me is Norwood’s attept at imagining the future — how realistic and practical of a vision it is (in parts), how little of it has come to pass, and how much of it echos the daydreams we’re still having. You can read it in full scan format: [Page 1], and [Page 2].

Norwood’s fantasy is essentially a pedestrianized, walkable city full of mixed-use, live/work/shop/play spaces. He speaks of rapid-transit routes, massive adoption of multi-unit housing “made of plastic” and an asphalt imprint that’s radically different.  “Only partially distinguishable are the local street patterns of 1959,” he hopes.

As I’ve said recently, the future is fickle.  Norwood failed to anticipate (or didn’t see fit to mention) the Large Hadron Collider and the rise of Twitter, but he unintentionally nailed a vision of sustainable cities that is, all too unfortunately, still just a vision.

50 years from now, what will we dig out of the overpass, shake our heads at, and wish we would have spent more time on?

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thoughts at the collision of business, brand and creativity

I'm Ryan Cunningham. I help companies and culture play nice with each other. At CREATURE we call this Brand Strategy, a term that carries a nice halo of reliability and structure. Here, I'm just another guy who thinks about the world and writes it down from time to time.

The result is a pile of knowledge to be used in, and for, the future. Feel free to sift through the heap for useful connections.

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