back to article Pizza drones, mad cyclists and Bitcoin-for-arms traders: A vision of LNDN 2023

Tech quango Nesta and its chums have sketched out a vision of what London might look like in the year 2023. Nesta, which used to be called the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, roped in blue-sky thinkers from the engineering firm Arup (which designed the Sydney Opera House's structure), as well as …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Whenever I need to travel there it is a little like 'Alice through the Looking Glass' as you enter the weird, warped, world that most Londoners seem to inhabit. The noise, the stink, the black snot, the crazy way everyone drives and cycles and walks is like a seen from a movie where the water has been doctored with cocaine.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What a load of Tosh

      How about looking further afield rather than the foreign country called London.

      Adam in the North West is still waiting for Broadband

      Claire is a care worker paid a pittance and has no email

      John is disappointed and commits suicide because he can no longer afford a pay as you go

      David looks longingly at the prospect of 3G only 10 more years to wait

      Steve the IT professional cannot get a job as they have been out sourced to other countries

      Sheila tries to get World Cup tickets for Wembley but finds that they have all been sold down south and cannot get online.

      MP's in the north rebel because all the infastructure money is spent around London

      The Royal Family move north after the independent state of London is announced

      Border Crossings and a wall built across the country to keep northerners out

      That's the future.

      1. Suricou Raven

        Re: What a load of Tosh

        Steve was on the list: One of the recurring themes predicted was the decline of conventional full-time employment, as employers turn instead to the cheaper and more flexible option of zero-hours contracts and serial temp workers. Several of the hypothetical Londoners were described as squeezing in with family because they can't afford to support themselves on the pitiful and unreliable income they make on the odd-job market.

    2. Marvin the Martian

      Re: London.

      If you think that's noisy you haven't tried to sleep in a residential Madrid neighbourhood. If you think that's stinky then you haven't tried Paris. And so forth.

      I'm a bit amazed by the stupidity of predicting pizza-delivered-by-drone. Flying cars have been predicted since the fifties and it's not really happening; this kind of thing is just as probable. I cannot even leave a £50 bike unsupervised in Hackney, so even a £50 drone is not gonna make it.

      Indeed, 2023 is not so different from 2013. In 2003 you saw the odd *anker walk around talking to a brick in his hand and not minding traffic, now you see the odd one without; the growth of the coffee shops (not in amsterdam sense) was taking off and now it's stopped; there's a few more cyclists ; and traffic was just as slow. Ow, and buses are un-bendy again.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I have a eerily similar view of the place everytime I get off my train at Euston Station. It's crowded, impersonal, horrifically expensive and can be considered a foreign country to most. As I need to use hotels/restaurants/supermarkets when I am here, it is a rare situation to find a white british male/female face. I walked down Westminster bridge last week and it was full of Eastern Europeans playing Shell games. Hardly the bastion of British culture I was expecting.

      TLDR; London isn't British anymore, it belongs to the rest of the world.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Optional

        <i>I have a eerily similar view of the place everytime I get off my train at Euston Station.</i>

        You own a train?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Optional

        Romanes eunt domus!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    London in 2023...

    ...(note the spelling) will be little different to London in 2013. Trust me.

    1. Rukario

      Re: London in 2023...

      It's not Lily-allen-DoN.

      In 2023, we'll be reading this article and laughing at Nasti (as they'll probably be known after this).

  3. Geoff Campbell


    If there's one lesson we should learn from history, it is that predictions of how the future will look are *always* wrong. It is very easy to see why this might be. As with this LOOB, such predictions are generally "Much like today, but more so", presumably because if the authors could genuinely predict the future, they'd be building it, not writing wanky articles to publicise their company.

    In reality, the future will be defined and shaped by the disruptive inventions, not the gradual evolution of current ones. See, for example, the massive and entirely unpredicted changes to London and other big cities around the beginning of the 20th century, as the internal combustion engine came from nowhere and utterly changed the landscape.


    1. getHandle

      Re: WALOOB

      Up-voted for introducing me to a new acronym if nothing else.

  4. Denarius Silver badge

    makes Judge Dred look almost desirable

    Sounds like hell with bicycles. BTW, who buys the new clothes for the trendies to buy second hand ? City to city remote relationships ? Given the use of substances like ecstacy which make takers feel connected, perhaps enough people will discover direct human interaction again as we techs already know. A good pub night is very relaxing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: makes Judge Dred look almost desirable

      " A good pub night is very relaxing."

      You think on current trends public sale or consumption of alcohol will be permitted by 2023? When fags are finally banned, and a broad brush law enables any legal highs to be banned before they've even been invented (including electronic fags), the public health establishment will move onto alcohol. You've already seen the "minimum sale price" proposals, already in place in Scotland, and variably enforced bans on public consumption of alcohol. Then they start raising the price; that doesn't work either, so they establish a state monopoly to sell it; then they make home brewing illegal (so far we're only up to where Sweden was ten years ago or more).

      Remember, they're only trying to protect your health.

      1. Anomalous Cowturd

        Re: makes Judge Dred look almost desirable

        From my knowledge of Scandinavians, (I am Godfather to a Norwegian), lots of them not only home brew, but home distil as well!


  5. Cliff

    Invariably wrong technical predictions

    The Walkman well make a comeback thanks to Shoreditch's booming mix tape subculture.

    Wearable computing will evolve into mainstream clothing which is even self-aware that it's been shoplifted, and can fill the evenings discussing life in its sweatshop roots with your smart underwear.

    Time will freeze when the large hardon collider (they officially change its name after so many people routinely call it that) discovers evidence of a chronon particle, which explains all the missing time in the universe. In discovering and capturing one, someone inadvertently crushes it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Invariably wrong technical predictions

      "Wearable computing will evolve into mainstream clothing which is even self-aware that it's been shoplifted, and can fill the evenings discussing life in its sweatshop roots with your smart underwear."

      And the smart underwear will have powered louvres, that can detect an approaching hot, sulphurous fart, open the louvres and release the effluvium, thus dramatically prolonging underpant service life. A further benefit will be the reduced time-to-target of an effusion, and reduced attenuation of the aromatics.

    2. Rukario

      The Large Hardon Collider

      Sounds like something out of Mike Judge's Idiocracy.

      Curses to whoever posted a reference to Idocracy last weekend, made me hunt down a copy to watch!

  6. Great Bu

    Shadowrun lives.......

    <Entry Redacted - Knight Errant Security>

  7. Crisp Silver badge

    We will still have to work in the future?

    How crap is that?

  8. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Not sure ... things have a habit of going in circles ...

    vaguely musing with MrsJP a few days ago that there's a certain symmetry in people today choosing to go to a coffee shop because they can also access the lastest news via wifi.

    Seems remarkably similar to 200 years ago where you went to the coffee shop to access the latest news (via newspaper).

  9. squigbobble

    Could be worse

    The Barnsley Halo plan was even more ridiculous wank than this and probably more expensive too. I refuse to believe that architect wasn't perping an elaborate (at least in terms of the artist's renditions) fraud.

  10. PaulyV


    "In LDN 2023, you might try to chat up suburban 19-year-old Nicky"

    I shall be 51 - did the research state this would be acceptable in 2023?

    1. squigbobble

      Re: 2023

      No, at that age you'll only be allowed to chat up menopausal women else you run the risk out being outed as an almost-paedo by the Daily Sun Mail Mirror on Sunday's iLittleJohn 2.0 copywriting bot.

  11. Anomalous Cowshed

    Tech quango predicts the future

    It's amazing what you can get up to in guise of working when the taxpayer is footing the bill...I wish I were getting paid for doing similar work!

  12. Lamont Cranston

    I can't tell if this is real, or some clumsy attempt at satire.

    I already think that London is overrun with wankers, so maybe it makes no difference.

  13. Lyndon Hills 1

    grow their own tomatoes

    or plants that vaguely resemble tomatoes. No legal spliffs in the future then.

    1. Suricou Raven

      Re: grow their own tomatoes

      I expect they'll need some sort of tomato production permit.

  14. SirDigalot

    solar? weather permitting?

    better off with a bucket on the roof and a water wheel

  15. zooooooom

    I hope no one was paid for this bollocks (including the reg hack who covered it)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Most future predictions are fails, especially from centralist male chickens.

  17. annodomini2

    IMO more probable

    A smouldering crater from some hitherto unseen WMD following the start of WW3.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The corresponding IATA code is LON, not LDN. How unhip! :-(

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