Future Transportation

How science fiction inspires the future of our cities Pt.3

Remember those seminal scenes in sci-fi movies when cars lift off and speed away or tiny jets zip through high-rise neon jungles at breakneck speeds and vertigo-inducing angles? It is in those moments that we get an inkling of what it might feel like to live in the future – and how we might navigate the urban sprawl.

After our explorations of future environments – in terms of efficient and organized living arcologies or architectural approaches (growing skyscrapers) – our next feature focuses on possible sci-fi inspirations for novel transportation concepts. And while the most obvious mode that springs to mind, direct transport via Star Trek-style “beaming,” is bound to remain in the fictional realm for some time to come, we would like to explore some more immediately “feasible” solutions.

One of the most prevalent science fiction ideas is the obsolescence of automobiles – and their replacement by flying personal carriers, usually small jets or helicopters. As early as 1934, when Arthur C. Clarke (author of2001: A Space Odyssey) published his short story Twilight, personal transport took to the air. Along those lines, popular animated TV series The Jetsons,Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future, Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element or Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner promoted on airborne travel – most notions of future cities have people flying around in aerial vehicles.

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