Net Zero Visions is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and led by
Dr David Sergeant (principle investigator) and Dr Emma Whittaker (co-investigator) at University of Plymouth, in collaboration with Devon Climate Emergency. Its mission to create a resilient, net-zero Devon where people and nature thrive. It is rooted in the idea that we cannot achieve change unless we also try to imagine it; and that imagining it can raise a wider awareness of what is at stake and encourage action. Acclaimed professionals in animation, illustration, interactive games, and public murals are currently working with communities to produce positive ‘Visions’ of locations across Devon as carbon net-zero in 2050. However, this imaginative effort is also open to everyone.
The Net Zero Visions mural for Tiverton was designed and painted by Dr Kate Crawfurd in the summer of 2022, assisted by Jessica Mallory, Phoebe Tonkin, Sophie Mullins, Kate Burman and others. Kate Crawfurd worked closely with a group of local people convened by Sustainable Tiverton to bring together ideas of what they could achieve together, including local food, locally generated energy, transport, homes and community projects. The mural was officially opened by Tiverton Mayor Sue Griggs on November 5th 2022. Thanks are also due to Mid Devon District Council, who kindly agreed to the use of their wall. The work was commissioned and funded by the AHRC Net Zero Visions project and the ERDF Low Carbon Devon project at University of Plymouth (2022) in collaboration with Devon Climate Emergency.
The mural’s augmented reality experience was created by University of Plymouth, MA 3D Design graduate Ian Kok Saw and includes a variety of animated features, from robins, bees and free range chickens to a turning hydro-electric Archimedes screw, as well as speech bubbles arising from the thoughts and dreams of the people on the mural. The augmented reality experience is available by scanning the QR code at the mural.
The mural mingles ongoing or existent projects with the aspirational. Details include:
- An Archimedes hydroelectric screw in the river Exe, currently in planning stage.
- An electric shuttle bus from Tiverton to Tiverton Parkway railway station. The station is only 13 minutes away by car but buses run less than once an hour and do not coincide well with trains. The station is on the mainline between London and Exeter but the town is not well connected so people currently need to drive everywhere.
- Sustainable organic farming – Tiverton is a rural area, and fresh local produce can be bought and sold at the nearby Pannier Market.
- An energy efficient passivhaus featuring loft insulation, hydrogen compatible boiler, heat pump, recycling, water butt, green wall, drying clothes on the line, large windows, wooden walls, biodiversity and veg growing in the garden.
- The town’s iconic horse-drawn canal barge (currently a tourist barge) selling fresh produce along the 11 miles of canal as part of a carbon neutral transport system.
- All the people in the mural are already doing good things – for instance, the people on the bench have water bottles and lunch boxes, others are walking, cycling and scooting, shopping locally and doing their bit. Such actions can be part of making the change from grey, car filled streets to a colourful, pleasant world that is better to live in.