Sustainable Cities of the Future: unlocking the potential of your local area

The London Transport Museum (LTM) is the world’s leading museum of urban transport and an award-winning day out. LTM explores the powerful link between transport and the growth of London, its culture and society since 1800. By sharing this story of innovation, ingenuity, creativity and design, the Museum ignites curiosity about the world around us and how to shape its future. The LTM collection is Designated Outstanding by Arts Council England. It includes more than 500,000 objects, from locomotives which powered the world’s first underground railway, to one of the most important collections of 20th century poster art.


Concern


Imagine a scenario post-COVID-19 London where the gravitational pull of the city centre will weaken. People will access their local communities in new ways, engaging more with local green spaces, neighbours, community and local businesses. Suburban neighbourhoods, once thought of as peripheral in relation to central neighbourhoods will no longer think of themselves as suffering from a deficit but instead will build on the advantages of their distinctive local characteristics. Whether near the centre of London or not, neighbourhoods will develop based on their local geographical, historical, political, ethnographic, economic and technological resources. London will be a multi-centred city instead of a centrally-focussed hierarchical metropolis. This, to some extent, plays to London’s history as it expanded rapidly from the eighteenth century through the gradual merger of villages surrounding the centre.

Under this view, the potential of COVID-19 triggering a strengthening of local neighbourhoods is combined with foresight research such as that which suggests that by 2030 there will be fewer privately owned cars. In this scenario cars will largely be replaced by public transport which may include fleets of autonomous electrical vehicles providing travel on demand. It is thought this will reduce pollution and free up space on the streets for other uses.


There will be more political and social action and physical infrastructure to support environmental sustainability due to the accelerating climate emergency. This may result in dramatic changes in people’s lifestyle as well as related plant and animal ecosystems. Economic changes including, for example, the impact of Brexit may reduce house prices and the younger population, currently squeezed out of the city, may choose to return. On a larger scale, world migration and population displacement will continue to influence every city as will global political turbulence. This project investigates such drivers of change in order to create a radical but feasible vision of the future of London. It is important to look forward and be visionary to prompt thought and discussion about what changes are needed now.




Mock-up


Outcome


We have produced a 2-minute animation set along London's Regent Canal imaging the future of the area where the waterways will become the epicentre of the King’s Cross neighbourhood. Through creative storytelling we have captured the sense of multiple occupation on the canal through moments of community spirit and great divide.

The playful animation takes you on a journey through the tourists view of Eric and Victoria, who have travelled from Singapore to London. Their journey shows the development in technology, communicating with AI instead of people but, their journey reminds them of the importance of spending time with locals and learning about the social challenges faced on the canal in 2030.

In which the areas historic and social challenges are explored over the course of seven days - showcasing how the canals potential could be unlocked.


The animation is an exciting opportunity to experience how waterway transportation can be furthered developed to coordinate the old King’s Cross and the new. Allowing visitors to see the benefit of how collaboration can help overcome the challenges of urbanisation.






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