Planner's Predictions Uncovered

Fifty years ago, Kenneth E. Norwood placed a time capsule and his predictions for Burbank, CA in a newly constructed bridge. According to the planner, monorails and "multi-unit garden apartments" were the waves of the future.
March 18, 2009, 6am PDT | Judy Chang
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"Spend a moment on the predictions of Kenneth E. Norwood of Burbank's Planning Department. He envisioned a city where only 12% of the people lived in single-family homes, with 88% in multi-unit garden apartments made of plastic that were incorporated in commercial complexes. 'These complexes are supposed to be the ultimate in urban living, combining offices, hotels, apartments, shops, restaurants, etc., in one continuous complex of buildings, malls and arcades,' he wrote.

There would be no overhead wires or antennas, he said. Instead, Burbank would use underground atomic power with electricity distributed by waves.

'Rapid monorail routes connect metro centers, with pickup stations at the Lockheed Air Control Center, and at each of the main malls in Burbank,' Norwood wrote. 'Unlike auto parking in 1959, there is no parking on streets or open lots but in fully automatic parking units located at each main destination point.'

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Published on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 in Los Angeles Times Blog
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