Special Note: Please note that this scenario is meant to be read as entertainment, not as an accurate prediction of the future. Also note that the viewpoints and opinions that may come across in this scenario are not necessarily the viewpoints and opinions of the author.
Grass-roots town planning
Following the growing success of the Open Source movement, more and more people are taking control of domains previously left open to 'experts'. Blogging sites with 'karma' are used by activists to promote ideas for sustainable and more human-friendly town planning.
- In a small hamlet which in time will become a major cultural centre of Canadamerica (after the declaration of union), the mayor of the region is issued with this ultimatum based on an ancient wiki-site (30 years is ancient in internet terms)...
- Politicians by now well know the power of the grass roots movement, augmented by the internet, and that votes will assuredly be lost if they do not visibly take on the challenges.
Plans for Downtown Simcoe, Ontario, Canada by an anonymous resident
The mayor of Norfolk County should convert the entire downtown into a indoor shopping mall. That way, a person can get from the drug store to the dollar store or the shoe store without having to watch for traffic or waste fossil fuels. Next, the mayor should start a shuttle service from the residential areas to the malls, stores, and to the Wal-Mart so that all people can shop without using fossil fuels. If people still wish to use their automobiles to go to the new downtown shopping mall, have a special underground parking place where they can park their cars, SUVs, hybrid vehicles, etc.
Within this new mall, encourage "youthful" stores (EB Games, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Bang On T-Shirts) to open up in this "downtown shopping mall." We don't need anymore rustic antique stores forcing our young people to shop in other towns and cities. Also, we should forget history. History may be a part of the county's motto, but history doesn't sell anymore. If you want customers coming to your downtown, dispense with the 19th and 20th centuries and think in the 21st and 22nd centuries. Replace cobblestone sidewalks with moving sidewalks and rustic street signs with illuminated signs that people can see even on the darkest nights. Also, we should make this new downtown shopping mall three floors. If the other shopping malls are forced to close, then maybe this small town can only support one giant mall as opposed to three smallish malls.
Don't forget that Norfolk County is supposed to be a "tourist place." Give more things for tourists to do. Bring back the laser tag place or a place to buy, sell, trade, and rent games from the console systems and the personal computer. And don't forget to lower commercial and industry taxes to 0% for 4 years in order to cause a job boom. After that, the the next mayor can resume normal taxation once everyone is off welfare.
Finally, we should take advantage of the decline of tobacco to buy out land from tobacco farmers at a decent profit and use the money to zone outwards for factories, houses, stores, and office buildings.
- Youthful stores arrive in force, beyond the bloggers original dreams. Not only games stores and cool T shirt shops, but also Mothercare (infant paraphenalia), power-bikes (bicycles that 'transform' e.g. recumbent-bike / racing-bike / wall-climber ), urban paint balling...
- As a quick measure to get cars out of the city, a punitive 'traffic charge' is levied on them by electronic-eye (reads number plate and instantly debits account). Four robot tow-clampers, one for each wheel, will congregate on any illegally parked car, lift it, and wheel it away. Instead, free buses patrol the streets, driven on compressed air (stored in tanks overhead).
- Simcoe gets slash-dotted and a wealth of talent worldwide works on solving the problems as a 'model solution' to be copied elsewhere, if it proves successful.
- An AI architect designs the new mall in an evolutionary fashion, as old shops close they are remodelled and replaced. Instead of three distinct levels, the levels blend into each other, with wheelchair accessible ramp ways between them. The whole mall-scape is organic in its structure and acoustically designed to be a pleasant space to walk in.