THIS USED TO BE THE FUTURE: Progress City

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We’ve all been to Epcot, we’ve all been bored by it, we’ve all seen its sad decline from a kind of permanent world’s fair into a gaggle of thrill rides and theme restaurants. We’ve all thought “Why bother?”

What is somewhat less known is that the original plan for E.P.C.O.T. was vastly more ambitious, a kind of planned city of the future that would have housed about 30,000 people, experimented with new systems of transportation, civil engineering, and social design. It’s all pretty fascinating, as you can see in this promotional film which aired as an episode of “Walt Disney Presents.”

Or here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9M3pKsrcc8

The good stuff starts about five minutes in.

The basic concept is pretty fascinating, and surprisingly well thought out. Of course it didn’t happen. Walt died just two months after filming this, and in his absence the board (Who’d been grudging in their support of the concept at best) decided to go for the money, rather than the ‘let’s help humanity’ thing.

This is a pretty neat little window into ‘what might have been.’

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