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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Urbanism of Back to the Future II

Posted by on Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 8:22 AM

The best thing about this list, "The Top 12 Movies About Urbanism," is the case it makes for reconsidering the value of Back to the Future II.

In Back to the Future II, McFly time travels to the distant future… set in 2015. The film nailed the downtown walkable urban redevelopment trends we have witnessed across the country over the past 10 to 15 years, an amazing feat of prognostication considering it was written in the mid-1980s. Downtown Hill Valley is once again the center of town life with increased density, vibrant retail and lots of people on the streets. The plaza has once again become a park. It also shows that the suburbs have become slums, which reflects the 21st-century suburbanization of poverty. The only detail the film got wrong — and that nearly every futuristic film gets wrong — is the use of flying cars.
Still, Blade Runner should have been at the top of this list.


Comments (9) RSS

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MacCrocodile 1
You don't know the flying cars are wrong in Back to the Future II. It's not 2015 yet.
Posted by MacCrocodile on March 4, 2014 at 8:43 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 2
Flying cars were the ONLY detail the film got wrong?

How about:
Food re-hydrators
Self-drying clothes
Self-fitting clothing
Hovering skateboards
3-D projected film advertisements
Identification implants
Cybernetic enhancements
Robot trash collectors
Hovering robotic dog walkers
Handle-less entry doors
Cold fusion reactors small enough to power a personal vehicle

Oh, and time travel.
I'm sure I forgot a few things.

Yet somehow, printed news still exists.

They DID sort of predict smart glasses/google glass though. So there's that.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on March 4, 2014 at 8:59 AM · Report this
Charles Mudede 3
@2) you made my day.
Posted by Charles Mudede on March 4, 2014 at 10:22 AM · Report this
Still expecting to see wearing your pants inside out as a hot trend, though.
Posted by Sparky on March 4, 2014 at 10:50 AM · Report this
@2 I think they are confining there comments to issues directly related to urbanism (which may include your dog walkers). It's simply polite to ignore other sci-fi mis-calls. According to Star Trek, we're supposed to have had a eugenic world war between engineered super soldiers by now.

What really got left off of this list is "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"
Posted by LukeJoe on March 4, 2014 at 10:52 AM · Report this
If vibrant retail is a requirement of being the center of town life, give me Detroit any day of the week.
Posted by When did The Stranger become so corporatist? on March 4, 2014 at 12:31 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 7

The reactor powered the flux capacitor, *not* the Delorean. Didn't you see Back to the Future III?
Posted by keshmeshi on March 4, 2014 at 12:32 PM · Report this
This is not an amazing piece of prognostication. in the 1980's there was already a strong resurgence of city living and urban redevelopment.
Now, fewer cars--flying or not--would have been a more visionary future.
Posted by fruitbat on March 4, 2014 at 1:17 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 9
I did indeed know this, and find it equally interesting that the future cars still use primarily internal combustion engines instead of electric or hydrogen or hybrid or whatever.

Still, there IS a cold fusion reactor the size of a golf bag attached to the back of a car.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on March 4, 2014 at 1:37 PM · Report this

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