Urban Storylines Transformed Into a Future Agenda

Re-naming Streets in the City of Vincent

During an artists in residence project REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT created 23 new street names that are presented at main intersections all over the City of Vincent in Western Australia. RG have held public dialogue sessions and collected information on current social and economic developments. Like the Grimm Brothers they listened to the storylines of urban dwellers and collected their narratives. The knowledge was transformed then into a future agenda for the citizens that appears in public space in the form of new street name signs.

The City of Vincent is a part of the metropolitan area of Perth, Australia. The mining economy boom in Western Australia has caused a massive urban growth within the cities of Vincent and Perth. High employment and increasing incomes has affected the city development and it has become more densely populated. The infrastructure of the metropolitan area changed to house 1.3 million people. Perth's suburbs extend 90km North and South in a strip up to 40km wide. The expanding housing market in the suburbs affects the City of Vincent too.
RG understands a city as a collection of different functions. Future changes and developments should give the residents the chance for an active role in the community. Vincent can be a model for anticipative thinking and sustainable future strategies.

Initially RG analysed the City from different perspectives, holding three dialogue sessions on the topics of Migration, the Aboriginal Perspective plus Housing and Economy. RG also met with individuals, representatives from the ethnic and religious communities, and advisors from the City of Vincent. RG researched and compiled information from reports, statistics and articles. The different STORYLINES that were accumulated represent challenges of community life in the present and future. The cognition was transformed into a public display of street name signs in order to raise a critical consciousness for changes in the future and to open a public dialogue to anticipate an integrated community life.

RG proposes a FUTURE AGENDA as an outcome of a cognitive mapping in the form of street signs on cross roads in the five boroughs of Vincent. The existing street signs represent the colonial past including historic settler's names, geographic places of European descent and only a very small number of indigenous references. RG refers to the semiotic significance of the signs for the urban identity in the public intervention. The new street names present community visions and issues.
The street signs are attached under the existing signs; they appear in a similar design and are placed on crossroads with traffic lights. In order to give an overview on the course of the changed street names RG publishes a city map with the names and locations and a legend and provides the context.

Long term Effects
The project endeavours to sensitise the public on the future challenges in a changing urban area. The aim is to motivate self organised community activities. Even though the artists stay is temporary, the project itself is not limited to the public appearance of the signs. More important are the long term effects of community building. The project calls all citizens to engage in practical local ventures based on shared responsibility.


Urban Storylines from REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT on Vimeo.

click image below to download high resolution


download the map as PDF by clicking the image below
Wie die Gebrüder Grimm erfragte RG Storylines der Stadtbewohner und sammelten ihr Erzählungen. Das Wissen wurde in eine Zukunftsagenda übertragen, die im öffentlichen Raum in Form neuer Straßennamenschilder auftaucht.