How is life in the city described in the year 2053 in "The Pedestrian"?

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The Pedestrian” is a science fiction short story by Ray Bradbury. It was first published in 1951, and it is set in an unnamed city in 2053.

In order to describe life in this city, you might want to point out that we can tell from the very first sentence that life in this city is unusually quiet, as not much seems to be going on: we are told that Mr. Mead loved the “silence that was the city at eight o'clock.” Eight o’clock seems rather early for a city to be quiet. It indicates that people are no longer going out to restaurants, bars, or cinemas. Instead, everybody seems to be at home.

You could also point out that going for a walk seems to be a very unusual thing to do in this city, as we learn that “an entire street [could] be startled by the passing of a lone figure.” Another indication of this is the fact that the pavements seem to be in a very bad state, as they are described as a “buckling concrete walk” with “grassy seams.” Later on, we read that at times, “the cement was vanishing under flowers and grass.” You could interpret this as evidence that it is not part of the usual life in this city to go for walks, as otherwise, one would expect the pavements to be maintained better. In fact, Mr. Mead confirms this himself: “In ten years of walking by night or day... he had never met another person walking.”

Instead, people seem to find their sole entertainment in watching television, as Mr. Mead comments on this during his walk by sarcastically asking “what's up tonight on Channel 4, Channel 7, Channel 9?” This addiction to television has led to life in this city becoming extremely safe and secure: “crime was ebbing; there was no need now for the police.” In fact, television has become such a huge part in people’s lives that there is no need for people to write books anymore, as no one would read them. This is why the policeman notes down “no profession” when Mead tells him that he is a writer. You could conclude from this that life in this city has become very sedentary and passive, as people are spending all of their time sitting down and watching television rather than engaging in intellectually or physically stimulating activities.

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