Imagining the Future of Hamilton, Online

By Adrian Duyzer
Published January 22, 2008

The Hamilton Spectator's Future City is a tongue-in-cheek website that tells the story of Hamilton's future, seven years at a time.

Each week, a new question is posed to visitors about a decision Hamilton must make. Some decisions are just for fun - whether or not to welcome aliens, for example - while others examine more important issues, such as this week's question, which asks people what they would sacrifice in the case of an energy crisis.

Based on the results of the past week's decision, the city map is updated, along with statistics and reporting.

It just so happens that this week's question was thought up by Ryan McGreal, editor-in-chief of this website. And in a further coincidence - actually, not really a coincidence at all - I'm in the right-hand video on the voting page (hint, hint).

(Full disclosure: I also work for factor[e] design initiative, the developer behind Future City.)

The site is unique, but it isn't perfect. The farther Hamilton gets into the future, the harder it is to imagine what kinds of problems Hamiltonians will be facing and what kinds of solutions will be available.

This sometimes makes it difficult to present compelling issues, because they can seem detached from the real world.

Perhaps you have some ideas about what issues you think Hamilton will face a century from now. Also, if you've got some clever ideas for futuristic things that could be added to the map, let me know.

I think the real value of Future City is that it makes visitors imagine the future of Hamilton. The Spec deserves kudos for making people think about where Hamilton could be 25, 50, 75, and 100 years from now.

Now if we can just convince City Hall to build the monorail...

Adrian Duyzer is an entrepreneur, business owner, and Associate Editor of Raise the Hammer. He lives in downtown Hamilton with his family. On Twitter: adriandz


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By Frank (registered) | Posted January 22, 2008 at 09:02:41

Monorail monorail monorail... remember the Simpsons? I voted for the monorail but...I DIDN'T vote for a solar bubble over the lower city. Did you Adrian? Right now we're having an energy crisis so why not make the vote about a solution for it. I know we voted the bubble down how about something more viable for the century instead of turning the lower city into Atlantis (Disney's Atlantis with the bubble over it) I'm sure by the turn of the next century we'll have thought of new ways to harness the world's energy from better geothermal energy production to less dirty methods that use peoples every day activities to produce energy. Be creative :)

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 23, 2008 at 16:19:38

if they wanted this game to be more realistic they should have had us doing things like widening Main St to 8 or 10 lanes. More demolition of great buildings. More farmland between here and Brantford filled with treeless subdivisions. Another few dozen Walmarts built on prime "employment land" (hey, the way we're going, $8.00 an hour retail jobs WILL be prime employment in 30 years) and the HSR being only used in poor areas of town (where council thinks it belongs anyhow). It might not be as cool and futuristic as mega-skyscrapers with green roofs, monorails and wind turbines, but at least it has a better chance of actually happening.

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