Norwich 2115 AD: An Architects Vision

On October 21st 2015, the day that Michael J Fox’s Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd’s Doc Brown travelled to in Back to the Future 2, we weren’t travelling into the office in our flying cars or popping out to lunch on our hoverboards as the film predicted.  The classic 1980’s film didn’t get everything right, but it certainly made a couple of very accurate predictions of the future, we may well have used a smartphone, had a video call, used augmented reality or watched a film in 3D.

To celebrate Back to the Future day, the Norfolk Record Office released this vision of Norwich in 2035, produced by Walter Waltling, art master at the City of Norwich School, in 1935.


Walter’s Aviation Tower, home to everybody’s personal planes, looks to be wide of the mark (there is still time?) but this sparked a lot of conversation in the office, and so we set ourselves the challenge of producing our own visions of Norwich 100 years into the future.

Here’s a selection of the best entries.

Ben Wall, Port of Norwich


Climate change and the rising sea levels played a key theme in many of the entries. Here, Architect Ben Wall puts a positive spin on the issue,with Norwich becoming a major port, and a gateway to what will become the Iceni Isles.

Chris Lappin, ‘Post Sustainable’ World


“A post-sustainable world is now upside down. The planning department was dissolved in 2063 to allow growth in the city to house a rapidly rising population. No one has mobile phones any more, and we like to travel by various means of transport. But at least we still have the Market!”

Derek Jackson, Norwich – A Brine City


“The Paris climate talks in 2015 fail. Governments only really start to invest in renewables once it is too late. Much of the UK floods, with East Anglia reduced to a series of small islands. The reduced population move towards urban centres, living in shanty districts constructed on top of submerged structures and on floating platforms. Sustainable energy use and upcycling of existing materials form a basis for a new kind of society. A Brine City.”

Peter Hughes, Norwich: European Green City of the Year 2115


“One hundred years has now passed since key targets were agreed between Nations at The 2015 Paris UN Summit. The World now benefits from this legacy and C02 emissions are significantly reduced to target levels, water levels and temperatures changes have been stabilized. The City plan has responded positively to demographic changes and the increase in population, with carefully controlled sustainable expansion. Norwich is regarded as an exemplar City and has just been voted European Green City of the year 2115.”