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Morecambe Bay Timescapes: Young People Envisioning Possible Futures of their Coasts

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Abstractpeer-review

Publication date30/08/2022
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventRGS-IBG Annual International Conference - Newcastle University, Newcastle, United Kingdom
Duration: 30/08/20222/09/2022


ConferenceRGS-IBG Annual International Conference
Abbreviated titleRGS-IBG
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


Current climate predictions show the significant impact that sea level rise and extreme weather events will have on coastal areas globally. However, the impact on individual coastal communities will vary greatly, and will depend not only on local geology, and climate – but also policies, infrastructures and preparedness of local communities. Yet, the complexity of these phenomena and the high level of specialisms involved often leaves such communities unable to actively participate in decision-making processes which will determine the future of the places where they live. Young people in particular are rarely engaged in such processes, despite being the ones who will be most affected by the impact of coastal changes.
The ‘Morecambe Bay Timescapes’ project engaged students from three secondary schools and one college across Morecambe Bay in learning about how climate change might impact coastal spaces, allowing them to design a series of stereographic visualisations depicting their ideas for how ‘the future’ may play out. These visualisations, which were informed by climate science classes, interactive workshops, and fieldwork activities delivered by the research team, were presented in a location-specific interactive exhibition with invited experts. A key characteristic of the engagement activities was the focus on direct experience and on hyperlocal data, including predictive data, historical photos and family memories.
Drawing upon initial reflections, the paper will discuss the role of the ‘Timescapes’ project in providing a bridge between young people’s ideas and strategic decision making, as well as in being a tool for immersive, place-based future making.