Climate Stories: A Mobile Community Planning Hub for Climate Action

Climate Stories* is a mobile version of Sea Level Stories — an interactive community hub that cultivates grassroots support for climate adaptation planning. A multi-sensory exploration of what the world could be like in 200 years, the project serves as a collective space for processing concerns about our changing climate & creating more grassroots engagement in how we plan & prepare for our future.

The format is a trailer retrofitted as a living room from the year 2200. By walking inside, visitors land 200 years in the future, when sea levels have risen roughly 25 ft & the world is a warmer place. They land in the living room of an urban designer who is renting them the use of her apartment, which comes with objects useful for navigating the future, including canoes & inflatable water wings for coastal areas, dry shampoo & air filtration masks for inland regions. All objects come with interactive audio instructions.

Walls are decorated with screens showing images & maps of how the region in which Climate Stories is installed has changed from centuries past to the “present” (the year 2200). Books & pamphlets detailing changes on the site are provided. Images, maps, books & pamphlets of changing conditions are researched & designed for each site, so that depicted scenarios are connected to individual communities.

Before leaving, visitors are asked to share reflections on climate change & listen to those left by others. They’re also invited to answer questions on their feelings about shifting climates and visions of the ideal city. People can record responses via audio, paper or drawings. Answers feed into Climate Stories' database on public perceptions of climate change across different communities.

All are invited to take immediate climate actions, like donating to mitigation movements, shifting savings to more responsible banking systems & connecting to local planning organizations. Everyone is connected to the Climate Stories network to receive updates on climate adaptation news & opportunities.

*Climate Stories won the 2018 Grand Prize of the MIT-sponsored Climate Colab Competition. We’re now in the process of building the physical trailer space. If you’d like to collaborate or connect about the project, send us a line!