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What does Pokemon Go & Star Trek have to do with the Logan River Vision?_____

What does Pokemon Go & Star Trek have to do with the Logan River Vision?

Nathan and Amy from the Tract Brisbane office could tell you all about it. They attended the Logan River Vision workshop last Friday organised and facilitated by the Logan City Council.

Attended by environmental consultants, academics, futurists, town planners, hydraulic engineers and designers, the creative workshop encouraged us to imagine life in 50 years time and how it could inspire ideas for the large river system that bisects the Logan region. This workshop was preceded by an extensive community engagement process, that Council undertook, which is captured on the Logan River Vision website.

So how do you imagine life in 50 years time? You look back at what life was like 50 years before. The Beatles were number one, the road between Brisbane and Logan was a dirt track and Star Trek aired for the first time. So with that in mind, groups at the workshop brainstormed some world trends they expect to see. Some ideas were;
  • Urbanisation (up not out);
  • Locally produced food;
  • Aging and healthier population;
  • Decreasing natural resources;
  • Service driven economy;
  • Working from home;
  • Off- the-grid;
  • Tiny House movement and living “off-the-grid”;
  • Crowdsourcing and participatory funding models;
  • Tactical urbanism as the community create public space;
  • Evolution of social media;
  • The gamification of everything; more games like Pokemon Go. There is also a prediction that there will be more gamification for positive outcomes (like the way Duolingo is a fun way to learn languages, but also translates the internet as you use it); and
  • Star Trek transporter technocolgy "beam" technology for transport, just like Star Trek. If Star Trek proposed the idea 50 years ago, perhaps we will see it implemented. Mobile phones, and touch screen tablets were first shown on Star Trek, and now they are everyday items.
So considering these big trends, we worked on ideas for the river in general and then applied these ideas to a specific location. Amy’s group was given an area deemed the “Unloved” area. The group turned this term on its head, and re-termed it the “Funloved” area, with a vision that “If you love it you will look after it”. The strategy was to encourage use of the river with fun activities.

In the group’s experience people engaged in activities on the river were more enthusiastic advocates for river water quality, than others simply educated about the importance for river water quality.

Some ideas from all of the groups included:
  • Thinking of the river as a place rather than a void;
  • Re-wilding the river by bringing back snags, and “sunlighting” pipes;
  • Encouraging social responsibility and “ownership” of the environment;
  • Solar panels over channels;
  • Creating a bicycle system on the water, as transport, which also aerates the water;
  • Under water running track;
  • Tree top walks and Zip-lines;
  • Giant infinity swing that generates power;
  • Jet-pack refuelling station or a Transporter station;
  • Floating pontoons that aerate the water and floating farming;
  • A big River Festival – making the river an icon of Logan;
  • Strategic retreat – pre-empting rising sea levels;
  • Returning to the “village” as an urban form, growing edible plants in gardens and sharing with the community;
  • Encouraging “risky-play” for children to combat the “nature deficit disorder”;
  • Taking a Cost Benefit Analysis approach and considering the cost benefits of seemingly intangible elements; and
  • Working with the Australian Defence Force (who have listed Climate Change as the number four threat to Australia).
So “beam me up Scotty” to the Future of the Logan River!
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