Timeline & findings
Make a prediction!
The history of Somerville, 2010-2100 Contact

Between February 2009 and December 2010, we spoke to hundreds of people about the future. A few dozen of these people were nice enough to make predictions about the future.

Some of these predictions took the form of elaborate short stories, or intricate drawings or maps.

Click on their names to see what these participants submitted to the project. (Note: to see these predictions in context, click on "Timeline & findings", above.)

Adam Olenn
Alain Jehlen
Alana Kumbier
Alex Pirie
Amara Good
Andrew Lynch
Auditi Guha
Ayanna B
Bambi Good
Ben Husk
Bill Rankin
Bill Ritchotte
Columbine Phoenix
Emily Arkin
Hannah Beynon Strutt
Heather Berlowitz
Heather Pena
Jay O'Grady
Jenn Harrington
Jennifer Mazer
Jessica Straus
Jim H.
Josh Burchord
Julia Fairclough
Karen Krolak
Lauren Schumacher
Lawrence Paolella
Linda Frye Burnham
Linda Haviland Conte
Louis Epstein
Maureen Barillaro
Neil Horsky
Pam Summa
Paul Johns
Rachel Strutt
Robin Wilcox
Sandra Day Smith
Seth Itzkan
Stacy Hill and Erin Leiman
Steven Popkes
Ted Bach
The Dan Crary Fan Club
Tim Devin
"Tinkerbell's human companion"
Wesley Heidi
and a number of Anonymous people


My prediction for Somerville 2015 by Maureen Barillaro:

After the permit parking and meter increases of 2010, combined with long delays and cost overruns of the MBTA Greenline project, in addition to the rising cost of gas due to peak oil production, and the massive flood of 2012 in Assembly Sq from rising sea level due to climate change, Somerville finally takes on alternative transportation as a model for cities across the globe. Citizens no longer able to afford "big 3" cars, gas and fees seek alternate transportation, and small business entrepreneurs and the city join to offer a wide variety of transport services. Beginning in 2011, bike taxis pop up all over the city starting with stands at all MBTA stations. Market Basket adds several stands and offers coupons to customers for the much needed service to alleviate parking and traffic headaches all hours of the day at it's Somerville Ave. location. All shopping centers soon follow suit. Metro-Pedal Power expands its tricycle trucks to a fleet of 20, with delivery services of all kinds of goods to the thousands of carless residents. The city decides to encourage more bike riding by putting bike racks in parking spots and putting a bike lane on every street in the city. Businesses add bike racks and plant much needed trees and stormwater runoff absorbers in the thousands of now unused parking spots. Small specialty shops open up in neighborhoods to provide basic services, just like the way it used to be.

In 2013, finally fed up with the unreliability of the MBTA buses, Somerville unveils it's own citywide transportation system at a fraction of the cost of the Greenline. The city adds a small fleet of hybrid fueled passenger vans and using current bus-stops, continuously circle the city so that residents never have to wait more than 5 minutes for a ride. With fully equipped GPS capabilities, citizens can easily track the vehicles so they are aware of timing and delays. The cost is a mere $1 so people widely accept this transport and are grateful the city is providing this service.

Zip Car expands widely to meet the needs of travel outside of the city and people continue to give up their vehicles by the thousands. Residents turn unused paved driveways into raised bed gardens and neighbors trade seeds at spring block parties. Air quality and children's health improves almost immediately. With less cars on the road, families feel safer to take family bike rides, especially to the newly cleaned up Mystic River walkway. Here at the Mystic River families can enjoy boating, birdwatching, picnicing, gardening and riverside sports. The river area is practically spotless with Somerville's aggressive campaign "Don't Mess with Somerville" to reduce waste and litter and increase awareness of the dangers of trash in our waterway. Restaurants, stores and schools are banned from using any styrofoam products which have littered our streets and riverway for many decades. Recycle bins are added across the city and recycling, composting and trash reduction are embraced by the entire community when they see how clean the streets are and even pitch in by picking up a hapless piece of trash. Store-owners participate by eliminating plastic bags, putting up "Don't mess with Somerville" signs in the stores to discourage littering, and reduce the amount of waste given to customers overall. People make healthy choices by choosing food and other products with the least amount of packaging and are ahead of most of the country by the time all of this is federally mandated in 2020.

(source: Maureen Barillaro)