Montage of digital images. In this project we are in search of the natural environment of the city of Brisbane. This project asks: “Where is the Sub-Tropical City of tomorrow? This project contributes both a way of thinking about the city and three narratives, whilst based on factual data each narrative has a fictional outcome. Each of the three narratives revolves around the search for - the future citizen’s relations with the natural environment - in tomorrow’s city.
The ‘Sedimentary City : Brisbane’ project takes an analytical view of today’s city and the precarious trajectory of its current urban planning. If the River City fails to implement a process of radical change now, to secure its threatened green-space ecology to meet forecast population growth and climate change, its citizens are destined to confront a congested ‘Inferno City’ and ‘Flood City’ of tomorrow.
‘Sedimentary City’ finds an alternative solution to future flood security and green-space amenity in the ancient river floodplain of the ‘First City’ with its wide network of freshwater creeks, swamplands and subtropical forests abundant with fauna and flowering vines. Formed by the ancient watershed the First City floodplain ecology moderated floodwaters and supported its citizens culturally, environmentally and technologically. By contrast today’s city watershed is buried in pipes and its floodplain overburdened with building infrastructure contributing to the amplification of flood events.
The ‘Sedimentary City’ project proposes tomorrow’s city as a complete retreat from the floodplain, progressively restoring creeks in watershed landscapes with forests of great big trees in finger-parks stretching from river to ridge. Outside the floodplain the future human habitat is dense with urban activity housed intensely in-tune with the future ecology of tomorrow’s ‘Subtropical City’. This narrative begins with a reminder of the - confronting - future city scenario - of the Inferno and Flood City. This is quickly followed by the First City of the past laid-over the map of the contemporary city for comparison - to search for the place of lost or hidden qualities from the past – qualities that can be drawn forward into the contemporary city. Processes of overlay and erasure contribute to the construction of the creative work titled ‘Envisioning Three’ – our proposition for survival - and implementing tomorrow’s subtropical city.