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
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