The purpose of this report is to form a grounded understanding of the past and present of Sydney, and explore the emerging trends and signals which may impact the future. This will involve conducting research and synthesising findings to form the basis of your futures exploration.
About the report and things needed in the report:
A rich picture that encapsulates a coherent and nuanced understanding of your challenge space. This is a distillation and representation of your research into your chosen place, community and theme.
The objective of this rich picture is to establish a grounded understanding of your challenge space. This will support you in exploring future opportunities and barriers to change.
Your rich picture should demonstrate both a breadth and depth of exploration. It will be your synthesis of the chosen context incorporating the 3 elements of the futures triangle:
Past forces which have shaped the present and emerging future
Present day conditions and dynamics, exploring norms and behaviours of today
Emerging trends, signals and drivers which are impacting/emerging the space, gather via horizon scan
Your rich picture should communicate a nuanced understanding of your challenge space, including:
structures, things and technologies,
stakeholders (human and non-human),
You should also be examining how these elements interrelate and interact with one another.
It will be impossible to produce a completely comprehensive representation of everything. Instead, this rich picture should illustrate the areas you have explored, and the areas which you are especially drawn to understanding further. This should demonstrate a broad understanding of high level forces, as well as areas of more focused research and unpacking.
You are encouraged to get creative with how you present your rich pictures. You can support the communication of your rich picture with text elements. Your rich pictures should present the past, present and future of your challenge space with clarity and coherence.
Your submissions should be the equivalent size of A2 or larger. This can be created digitally, or a scan of a hand-drawn artefact. Please ensure that it is clear and legible. You do not need to reference your rich picture, but PLEASE ensure that you are drawing from credible sources to support your understanding.
DEEP DIVE ANALYSIS
Supporting your rich picture will be some further analysis into key aspects of the past, present and future.
Your rich picture should feature key historical events which have shaped the present and may continue to influence the emerging future. The past should be presented in a way to coherently links to the present day conditions of your challenge space.
Additionally, you will conduct a deep dive analysis into events in history, identified in relation to your place and community. This analysis (300 words each) should outlining the chosen events and their significance and impact on your challenge space. In your exploration you may choose to explore both history from a macro and/or micro level, as well as events from further in the past, or more recent.
Your deep dive should present a cohesive narrative of history, exploring the connections between each event towards the present and emerging future. Your analysis should also provide a rationale for why you chose to explore your set of historical events, in relation to the challenge space and your personal perspective on its significance.
This analysis should address the narratives, materials and values associated with the history you uncover. Your analysis should investigate how the historical events identified relate to one another, and how these events together have brought about the present and emerging future(s).
Your rich picture will be primarily focused on illustrating your understanding of the present; the structures and dynamics of your chosen place, community and theme. This should encompass both high-level macro elements, as well as more specific micro features.
In addition to this you will conduct a deep dive into underlying present-day norms and their associated narratives, materials and values. Your analysis of each norm (300 words each) should investigate the everyday behaviours, activities and practices in your challenge space to gain an understanding of how we live in the present.
Describe what these norms are, how they exist in the present and how we live in accordance with them in your chosen place and community. Unpack them through the narratives, materials and values framework. Each norm should be presented with imagery illustrating how they are practised. You should also critically engage with these norms; examining how these norms may interrelate, the positive and negative impacts, who they affect and what their causes and costs are. Your analysis should also provide a rationale for why you chose to focus on your chosen norms, addressing your personal perspective on its significance in the challenge space.
Through a horizon scan, you will explore and identify trends, drivers and weak signals which could affect the emerging future of your challenge space. Your scanning should feature a range of interesting insights from different sectors and scale, and encompass a range of sources. These trends/drivers/signals will be incorporated into your rich picture.
Additionally, you will conduct a deep dive into key trends/weak signals/drivers (300 words each). In this analysis you should be exploring the origins of the trend/driver/signal, unpacking new narratives, materials and values, anticipating the costs and consequences, as well as the politics behind it, and outline how/why these trends/driver/signals are relevant to your challenge space. Your analysis should also address why you chose to focus on these particular trends/driver/signals. You should also explore how these trends may work in relation to one or more of the identified trends.
PLEASE CHECK ATTACHED FILE!
Challenge briefing and Assessments Overview
City of Sydney 2050
What will the future of Sydney look like?
What could the future of Sydney look like?
What do you want the future of Sydney to look like?
These are three very different questions. Throughout this subject and the assessments, you will explore and respond to each one of them. In doing so, you will employ three different modes of futuring; predictive, exploratory and normative.
These modes of futuring will engage you in thinking critically about the present day, understand the accretion of history, analyse emerging trends, and imagine broadly and radically to propose reasoned visions for the future of the City of Sydney local area. You are encouraged to draw upon your personal experiences and situated knowledge of living and being in the local area.
This is an opportunity and challenge to reconsider the pre-existing conceptions of what the city is and what it could be.
Your brief is to explore the future of a specific place and community within the City of Sydney, envisioning what the future might look and feel to live and be in.
You can choose any theme to focus on. We want you to address something that actively interests and excites you to explore and research further. This should be a future you genuinely want to be part of.
Your proposals will also be informed by the 10 strategic directions of the Council, outlined in the Sustainable Sydney 2030-2050 report.
Report: Past, present and emerging futures will involve first, looking back at history to understand how our present day situations have formed. You will develop a rich and critical understanding of the present to ground your explorations. Then you will identify and analyse emerging factors which could affect the future.
Our Industry Partner
Our industry partner for this subject is the City of Sydney council.
The City of Sydney is a local council responsible for a range of facilities and services in our designated area. These services include rates, roads, waste and recycling services, cycleways, greening, health and safety services, business permits, community services, planning controls, building regulations, compliance (including rangers, animal management and parking), recreation (including parks and sport facilities) and culture (including libraries and festivals).
The City of Sydney is interested in hearing directly from you – not just as students, but as young people living, learning, working and playing in the local Sydney area. They want to learn what you want to see for the future of the city. This is an opportunity for you to engage directly with the local government.
Kate Deacon – Director, Strategic Development and Engagement
Yvette Andrews – Manager, Strategic Community Consultation
Lara Wolski – Executive Manager, Strategy & Urban Analytics
Your brief: Exploring the future of a place and community
The City of Sydney covers a large area across central Sydney. Within this are many suburbs, urban areas and the communities that work, live and play.
For this challenge, you will focus on a chosen place, community and theme of personal interest. Communities are often associated and situated within specific places, and so it is important to consider the context in which they exist.
Choose a place and community that you have a personal connection to and knowledge of. The City of Sydney is looking for your perspective and lived experience.
There are many places and spaces within the local Sydney city area. You can choose from this , but we also invite you to re-imagine and interpret how you see a place within the City of Sydney local government area (LGA). We are interested in understanding how you see and define a place.
You can explore places at many scales. From a macro perspective looking at a suburb or precinct, or narrowing it down to a very specific street or public space. You also don’t need to limit yourself to just one space. Instead, you could choose to explore how a certain theme relates and connects across multiple places in Sydney.
This map below shows the City of Sydney council boundary. You can also learn more about their .
For this task, you need to identify a community that you share interest and have lived experience in. Communities can be defined in many different ways, but at a high level, it is a collective united by some form of commonality.
There are over one million people – residents, workers, students, businesses and visitors who spend time in the City of Sydney every day. A mix of cultural organisations, educational institutions, international tourism sector, corporate headquarters, peak bodies, advocacy groups and government departments are based in the local area because of Sydney’s role as a capital and global city.
These communities are diverse. The people who rely on Sydney as the place they live, work, study, do business, access services or visit are also connected to other places around the world.
To help you get started, below are some categories of communities to explore, outlined in the . These communities may overlap and intersect.
Communities of place
Communities can be identified through their geographic place. Often the most important and impacted communities are those that live or work around specific places.
For example, when working on improvements to a neighbourhood park, the community of local residents, property owners, school or childcare services and nearby businesses are key.
Communities of place also include groups of people who hold a particular connection to a place because of its historical or cultural significance, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to Redfern; LGBTIQA+ people who identify with Oxford Street and the Chinese business community in Chinatown.
Communities may also be closely associated with activities that happen in a place, for example members of sporting, community garden or cultural groups. They might belong to less formal groups, such as skaters who use a skate park or people using the local library or community centre.
Communities of interest/activity
Communities of interest organise around an issue or activity.
Some examples are:
different business sectors, such as tech startups or hospitality
large corporates or owners of small local businesses
professions we engage with such as architects and urban planners
peak bodies, advocacy and industry groups, like NSW Council of Social Services, People with Disability Australia, Property Council or Committee for Sydney
not-for-profit organisations and services with a common purpose such as sustainability or affordable housing.
Communities of interest may form advocacy groups and networks that the City of Sydney can tap into, such as business chambers, resident action groups and interagency networks.
Such communities may also convene around a shared activity – sporting or recreational clubs, bush care and gardening groups, cultural and creative communities and people involved in informal activities like dog walking.
Communities of identity
These communities define themselves. They include groups such as First Nations communities, LGBTIQA+ communities, culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Within communities there may be smaller groups, such as trans and gender diverse communities. It is important to remember that there is diversity within these communities.
They may gather around cultural and religious beliefs.
Communities of identity may be associated by age, for example groups of young people or older people. Sometimes these groups form as a result of shared experiences, for example social housing tenants who live in a particular neighbourhood.
Guiding principles and strategic directions
The City of Sydney is committed to for its communities, and has already done extensive work to form its vision for . Your projects will need to align with the 10 strategic directions set out by the City.
These provide a framework for action for each major theme in the 2030–2050 vision.
Responsible governance and stewardship
A leading environmental performer
Public places for all
Design excellence and sustainable development
A city for walking, cycling and public transport
An equitable and inclusive city
Resilient and diverse communities
A thriving cultural and creative life
A transformed and innovative economy
Housing for all
You can find the full details of the strategic directions and examples of future visions based on them in the
A place and community in Sydney, an interesting theme, and the 10 strategic directions are the only set limitations of your challenge.
This challenge has been left open for you and your teams to explore things that are relevant and interesting to you. This is a chance for you to directly tell the City what kinds of futures you want to live in. So rather than prescribing a specific issue, you are free to explore what you are drawn to personally and as a team.
As a starting point, below is a range of possible themes which were discussed with the City of Sydney during the formation of this brief. These themes interrelate in many interesting ways and you are encouraged to find a perspective that excites you and your team.
You do not have to choose a theme from the list below. Instead we encourage you to look at the list as inspiration
Possible themes to explore
Rights of Nature
Ubiquity of devices
Key documents to get started
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