Welcome to the Future?

13th October 2007 @ 2:46 am
science-ficttion, Urban, Future, Photos, chicago, London, paris, Transport, money and rfid
Barclays have launched a combined credit, Oyster and cash payment card for travellers in London (a textbook Greenfield device if ever I saw one). At the moment there are ads for it all over the tube featuring a variety of mocked-up Minority Report-style futurescapes based on present day London. Thanks to Flickr I found that Ned Richards grabbed a couple of snaps of them; he's definitely right that the golf courses aren't as exciting as roller-coasters.

I love this kind of imagery, but my last year of travel has pretty much convinced me that you don't need to mock them up. I haven't been any of the cities that get the most attention for their present day sci-fi realities (Tokyo, Dubai, Shanghai or Singapore), but there are pockets of unevenly distributed future all over the place. Here's a picture I took last week from London's Docklands Light Railway:

Future London? From DLR

And one of the same part of London from the 23rd floor of One Churchill Place:


(apparently it was one of the first skyscrapers to be completed after 9/11 and therefore one with a tough attitude towards security and structure stability, which is good because just over to the right of this photo is London City Airport's runway)

I started thinking about the future-now of Western cities in May when XTech in Paris placed us in a hotel overlooking a tried-and-failed Modernist complex near the Eiffel tower. References to Alphaville were inevitable, the French origins of Parkour were entirely explained.

Paris from the Novotel


I'm not the only one taking these snaps though, my friend Adam took this one in Chicago recently. As if the city-scape there isn't sci-fi enough, his phone camera was kind enough to accidentally filtr it into concept territory, just so:

Welcome to the future.