Decolonial Design-Wayfinding for Sustainable Futures: A Critical Case Study of Brisbane and Gold Coast, Australia

Abstract

This paper examines and provides a Decolonial Wayfinding frame focused on case studies of two cities—Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Australia. Climate displaced peoples will arrive in both these cities in the coming decades and both will be affected by sea level rises and other future challenges. City streets will have to dramatically change, new knowledge will need to be produced to survive. Actions will require being geared toward both pragmatic transformations and radical semiotic transformations occurring through visual communication interventions prefiguring the events they anticipate by many decades, shifting public perceptions of what the future will bring and contributing to the crucial psychological adaptation that enormous numbers of people will have to undergo as citizens transition toward resilient and adaptable cities.Public policy guiding documents of Brisbane and the Gold Coast, representative of other Western neo-liberal colonised geographies around the world, are interrogated here, with an aim to identify a decolonial preparedness for instability and disaster events in these cities and how they might redirect their symbolic value as images of prepared cities, resilient cities, adaptable cities. It is argued that wayfinding discourse broadly, and particularly in the guiding documents of these cities, needs to expand significantly to incorporate a comprehension of decolonial wayfinding. Three framing layers are offered as a place to begin. They are: Critical Mapping; World-Picture; and Movement. Then these are placed in relation to Decolonial Wayfinding.
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