A History of the Future: Imagining Melbourne / City Gallery. / by patrick rodriguez

n 2016, the City of Melbourne’s ‘Future Melbourne 2026’ project urges Melburnians to consider their city for the decade ahead. So what better time to reflect on the kinds of futures that were imagined for Melbourne in the past.

12 May to 12 August 2016

City Gallery, Melbourne Town Hall.

Some big dreams and ambitious visions have been realised, others have not – for better or for worse. And it’s not just the appearance of the city that these imaginings have shaped, but also how we interact with it, move through it and inhabit it.

A History of the Future: Imagining Melbourne looks back in order to look forward. For 180 years, city planners, architects, artists and writers have imagined a future Melbourne from the vantage point of their own time and place. The stories told here provide just a snapshot of the many plans, schemes and dreams that have been variously realised or shelved as Melbourne has considered its future self. They reveal changes in attitudes – towards heritage, the natural environment and modernity – that have shaped much of the city that we find ourselves in today.

Curated by Clare Williamson
Clare Williamson is an independent curator, arts writer and editor. She was previously the senior exhibitions curator at State Library Victoria.