Mobilising just transitions in a green new world with Gold Coast locals.
Gold Coast City Futures was a three-year project supported by triennial arts funding from the City of Gold Coast. The Gold Coast is attracting one of the fastest growing populations in Australia and has been singled out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change owing to its geography and settlement patterns.
Opportunity for Futures
As the home for our practice, we wanted do explore how our city can get to a viable, healthy Gold Coast future. A community-led approach was important as city planning has been largely driven by developers, sprawling urban housing and a lucrative tourism industry.
In 2019, Relative Creative designed and hosted the inaugural Gold Coast City Futures Forum (GCCFF) with over 55 locals. Over 2 days, dialogue and mapping workshops based on local planning documentation, IPCC reports, and complex topics such as ‘just transitions’ to sustainable futures enabled community speculation about how multiple societal systems can contribute to our transition. We came together and asked, what will need to be designed; envisioned and revisioned, built and unbuilt, coded and created, manufactured and remanufactured, cultivated, employed and deployed, grown and degrown, urbanised and reforested and planned, power struggled and politicised to get to a viable, healthy Gold Coast future? The 2019 GCCFF culminated in podcast on creatives in the climate crisis and a 2019 Report capturing starting points for action and directions for continuing conversation and exploration.
In 2020 we adjusted the GCCFF by narrowing the focus to the Burleigh Heads community and designed multiple ways, remotely and apart of the Bleach Festival, to engage them in imagining their future in a green new world. We reached community members through the use of cultural probe kits and community profiles. Responses were transformed into a ‘Kiosk of the Future’, an interactive art installation that was hosted by Bleach*, the city arts festival. This invited further input by Bleach* audiences providing scope to people to engage with thinking about their future and actions that need to be taken in the face of climate change, both systemic and personal. All of this resulted in in a community-led zine, capturing a collective vision of the future and signposting more specific avenues for action.
The final year of the Gold Coast City Futures project involved gathering all collaborative outcomes from previous forums to deliver a refined and persuasive fiction of a future for the Gold Coast. This resulted in the Repair on the Move project.