Melbourne 2185: what do you suggest?

30 August 2010

Written by: Sarah Green

175 years ago today, a boatload of settlers from Launceston sailed up the Yarra River in a schooner named Enterprize and landed at what is now Queens Wharf.

Would they have guessed that, less than two centuries later, Melbourne would be the fastest growing city in Australia?  If the words of John Batman, another founding father, are anything to go by then probably not.   ‘This will be the place for a village’ Batman famously declared, obviously not anticipating today’s population of nearly four million.

Predicting the future is clearly a tricky business. Still, with Labor turfed out of Melbourne’s seat in the House of Reps for the first time since 1904 and everyone waiting to hear who’s going to run the country, it seems as good a time as any to indulge in a little dreaming about the future.

For argument’s sake, let’s double Melbourne’s current age and think about the city in 2185.

Of course the obvious question here is ‘will there even be a Melbourne?’ We all know the earth is warming and things aren’t looking that great for humans. ‘Will we survive’ is an important question and without an answer, any dreaming of future Melbourne seems a little ridiculous.

For just a few moments however, lets follow the example of Melbourne Business Network and stop all the worrying. On the 175th anniversary of this city, they’ve decided the burning hypothesis most in need of discussion at The Great Melbourne Day Debate is…..That Melbourne Is Still the Foodies Capital’.

If it’s good enough for the city’s business folk to ignore ‘the end is nigh’ warnings, it’s good enough for us.  Here we go with ideas for Melbourne 2185.

A few suggestions to start it off:

1)      The solution to Metro’s problems: Hovercrafts

Robert Zemeckis was a little ahead of his time when he predicted hovercrafts by 2015 in Back to the Future II. Still, it’s a neat idea. Surely 175 years is long enough for Metro to realize that if they want to clear up the overcrowded transport system, sky travel is the way to go.

2)      An end to ‘we are not Sydney’-ism

A recent feature in The Age asked famous Melbournians what they’d give the city as a birthday present. Most said they’d like Melbourne to acknowledge it doesn’t need to be compared to Sydney…and then pointed out why they liked Melbourne better. Enough already!

3)      Free umbrella stands on every street corner

Pick one up when the rain begins and safely drop it off 3 minutes later when the sun comes back out. This is a particularly important point given the already mentioned problem of climate change. We don’t know what the weather is going to throw at us so best be prepared.

Do you have a ‘Melbourne 2185’ vision? Post your comment below or drop us a line on Twitter at #Melbourne2185

Sarah Green is a Master of Global Communications student at La Trobe University and a member of the upstart editorial team.