A small group of professional New York city planners leave work one day, ca. 2015, and decide to visit a different bar than usual for happy hour. The bar, which looks like something out of the wild west, is mostly empty. The bartender, a Michael Cain-esque figure, listens intently to of all their stories while polishing some tumblers. Instead of giving them each another brewsky, he smiles and offers to mix them a special drink of his own creation. Skeptically, they each take a shot of the milky drink, pay their tabs, thank the bartender, and step outside into mid-17th century New Amsterdam.
Okay, the details of time travel aside, how could a group of modern city planners, knowing everything they know about how it will look and grow, affect the development of a large city (such as New York) if they were to go back in time to the early days of that city? If they could plan back then, with everything they know, how would such a city then look today?
- Let's say there are 3 city planners that went back. They each have a considerable amount of practical and historical knowledge of the several boroughs of New York.
- As far as they're concerned, the time travel is one-way. There's no going back (forward?)
- No one in New Amsterdam is suspicious of these newcomers, with their hip music and complicated shoes. In fact, in a matter of weeks, they are accepted as up-standing citizens and are admitted into the city's councils.
- They tell no one they are from the future, except their eventual spouses and children, who absolutely believe them; and this to keep the tradition going of shaping the future of their city to a more ideal state.
- Let's put aside any hard-science related to the time travel aspect of this question, and ignore any temporal paradox that may occur. Even if the city planners accidentally kill their 8th generation grandparents or something, they won't be wiped out. Also, their going back in time and changing things won't be the cause of - or prevent them from - going back in time and changing things.