A positive vision of the future of São Paulo

I don’t know how many of you watch sci-fi films but I do. Although I quite enjoy them, I really can not remember the last one which contained any form of positive vision of the future. The only one which really springs to mind is the animation Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

In this film, people all grow their own vegetables in their gardens, but Wallace and Grommit have to come to the rescue of residents of a village when a mutant rabbit is found to be destrying them all (the vegetables, not the residents!).

Slide credit: Rob Hopkins

Slide credit: Rob Hopkins

Research has shown that in general we tell ourselves one of four general stories about the future. The first is that technology will be the solution to all our problems, and that we can contine to grow our economies indefinitely. The second story is that green technology will enable us to continue as we are now, at our current levels of consumption. A third story is that the future will descend into chaos, much like the portrayals in The Hunger Games or the much older Mad Max films.

The final story, one that is much rarer to find in people, is that we move from being consumers of resources to guardians of the planets resources and ecosystems. Other research suggests that we would in fact be much happier in this scenario, but given all the pressures from advertising in the media, and the stories we are shown at the cinema, the message is barely being heard.

It was with great delight therefore that I discovered this short animation, showing one possible future for São Paulo, omne where bicicles regain a central role in daily life here. The film was prodced by NUPA, a public free animation studio-school in São Paulo with backing from the Prefeitura de São Paulo Cultura. I hope you watch it and enjoy it as much as I did.

Also well worth a watch is another film NUPA produced, which invites us to explore a river’s need for life. Take a look below.

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