Yorktopia 2026

The My Future York research project work with visual arts and music students to ask the question: Will the future be more like the past than the present?

To explore this question, we will look back to look forward, using provocative contrasts been the pasts and the presents of York’s cityscape and ways of life in order to open up radical visions for York’s future.

We will show a film – not before seen publically – of York’s Hungate area. The footage was found in a biscuit tin and donated to the Yorkshire Film Archive on hand-made film reels and gives a glimpse into the Hungate of the 1930s showing long gone streets, houses and the street parties. The film will be screened in Hiscox, one of York’s most futuristic buildings. The histories of housing in Hungate will be explored through research conducted by York Past and Present using the city archives. Glimpses of Hungate’s past, its celebrations, its conditions, its reputation as a slum and the desire of government to institute improvements, will be used to ask critical questions about homes and housing in York today and generate hopeful visions for living in 2026.

To inspire and challenge our vision making, Hungate’s contrasting buildings will provide backdrop for utopian slide projections and futuristic soundscapes by York St John students. The trail will end at The Black Swan, where historians and futurists alike are invited to a future folk party set in the year 2026.

For further details see: myfutureyork.org
Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of its Connected Communities Utopia 500 Festival.

The My Future York project has been developed through a partnership between York Environment Forum, York Past and Present, York Explore Libraries and Archives and Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage at the University of Leeds.

Image courtesy of Vespertine