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Morecambe Bay Timescapes

What is this project about?

Morecambe Bay Timescapes is a project that involves young people in Morecambe and Lancaster working with researchers in design, computing, and environmental science to create visualisations of local coastal pasts and futures. These visualisations will be displayed during a final event as site-specific installations, which will enable members of the public to look at their surroundings through the lenses of coastal change.

Current predictions all show the significant impact that sea level rise and extreme weather events will have on coastal areas worldwide. However, what exactly will happen to individual coastal communities will vary greatly, and will largely depend on local geology, climate, infrastructures and community preparedness.

Who is involved in this project?

This project is organised by a team of researchers from Lancaster University: Serena Pollastri from ImaginationLancaster (the design research group at Lancaster University), Liz Edwards from the School of Computing and Communication, and Suzana Ilic and Joseph Earl from the Environment Centre. The researchers are collaborating with students from Carnforth High School, Morecambe Bay Academy, Our Lady’s Catholic College, Bay Leadership Academy, and Lancaster and Morecambe College.

The researchers have also received the support of Lancashire Archive, Lancaster City Museum and Maritime Museum, and Heysham Heritage association, who are providing archival materials documenting historical changes around the bay. The Environmental Agency, North West Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme, and Lancaster City Councul are sharing data and future strategies that will inform and contextualise young people’s visions of possible future.

Where will the visualisations be displayed?

Each school have selected a place to explore and imagine. Throughout October and November, researchers and students will collect and analyse different types of data about the pasts, present, and future of the selected places. The data gathered in this phase will be used to create visualisations about possible futures for our place. These future stories and scenarios will be edited as 3D stereoscopic images. A series of stereoscopes will be placed along the coast during  final event, when the 3D visualisations will be displayed to the public.

Why now?

This year, the UK is hosting the United Nation Conference on Climate Change (COP26). At this conference, world leaders will meet to discuss important strategies and policies to tackle climate change.

This project received funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to contribute to important climate research by involving young people in understanding and communicating the local impact of environmental change, and discuss strategies to be put in place for Morecambe Bay.

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