Full disclosure: I am one of the very few people left in America who has yet to see Black Panther, Marvel’s latest superhero film.
The reviews are good, but it’s also getting some credit for offering a glimpse at what life would be like if our commutes weren’t so horrendous
The movie is set in a utopian nation of Wakanda, which apparently has no cars but a robust and smooth public transportation system complete with floating trains (kind of like MagLev.) It’s the kind of thing that has transportation wonks giddy.
“Why can’t real people have Wakanda transit?” CityLab asked this week.
Wakanda gives us a glimpse of what city life would like without cars. And many moviegoers liked what they saw.
“The whole idea of private transportation is foreign to this fictional society,” wrote Charles Mudede in The Stranger. “If this black African capital has anything to share with the world, it’s its city planning.”
Even actual city planners have issued rave reviews of the movie’s transportation vision.
“Black Panther is one of the first movies to get urbanism right, with a transit-friendly, walkable Wakanda. The future will more likely have active streets, not just flying cars,” wrote Janette Sadik-Khan, the transportation commissioner in New York City.
Of course, Black Panther is set in the year 2550. So maybe we’ll have this urban transportation thing figured out 532 years from now.