2009 and December 2010, we spoke to hundreds of people about the
future. A few dozen of these people were nice enough to make predictions
about the future.
Some of these
predictions took the form of elaborate short stories, or intricate
drawings or maps.
Click on their
names to see what these participants submitted to the project. (Note:
to see these predictions in context, click on "Timeline &
In 2050, I won't
be here--I don't expect to live to 105. But I hope my children will
have retired here, partly to be near my granddaughters, who will
be in their 40's (which is very hard to imagine today).
I love this
city because it has so many different kinds of people who, despite
strains, are pretty good at sharing it.
And the biggest
question mark for 2050 is whether that will still be true. The Green
Line is coming to the parts of Somerville where rents are lowest.
Will the whole city be gentrified? Davis Square is the example everyone
thinks of: it's a great place, but many people can't afford it.
But in one of many conversations I've had about this dilemma, a
friend suggested that the new Green Line stops may not all become
little Davis Squares. There are other neighborhoods near T stops
in the Boston area where prices are not out of sight. I hope someone
will do some research into what happened in some of these other
neighborhoods when the T stops opened. It might be very interesting.
I don't feel
very good at predicting technological change, but it does seem that
gas prices will go up again and stay up as Asia continues to develop.
If that happens, we will be forced to build more public transportation,
and more cities will gain good connections--more like cities in
Europe. If there are many neighborhoods in the Boston area that
have good public transportation, maybe the Green Line's impact on
housing costs in Somerville won't be as big as many people fear.
I hope so!