Tomorrowland 2018 microphone
Photo: Elliot Sloman

What’s your burning question for the leaders designing and delivering our urban future? Enter our competition and win one of three free tickets to Tomorrowland 2018.


Tomorrowland is back on 6 September at the Baker McKenzie offices, Barangaroo, and this year the theme is big – just like the issues coming our way.

To make sure we get the best possible outcomes we’re asking you, our readers, to help find the most incisive and useful questions we can ask on the day.

We’ll publish our favourites online and in the Tomorrowland 2018 ebook and give away three tickets for the best entries so the winners can ask their questions in person.

So, what’s the big theme for Tomorrowland 2018?

This is how we see things: climate change is here, now –  in evidence through rising waters, rising temperatures and erratic weather. People in Western Sydney, for instance, where Sydney is seeing much of its population growth, is expected to bear four times the number of extreme heat days, within five years.

So what are our developers, councils and state governments doing about this?

Is our building stock improving or are we still building cardboard boxes that need the earth to heat and cool?

Who is patrolling shoddy building work – private certifiers? We hear there is a list in Sydney of private certifiers who will give you a discount if they don’t have to visit the site (top end architects have confirmed).

If people die in their homes from heat or cold, will their relatives be able to sue the people who built their houses? Or the local council who gave consent? What about the state government for dereliction of duties?

On our doorsteps, the department of defence is preparing for millions of climate refugees and the number could be more. Global investors are seriously concerned. Jeremy Grantham, for instance, has warned in an extensive document that investment returns globally are threatened by famine, the melting Himalayas displacing the world’s most populous regions, and whole continents such as Africa becoming unbearably hot.

This is a real and hard future that’s about to collide with thousands of years of established precedent and systems that might now be severely challenged.

Who is preparing for this radical disruption?

Local government, which is closest to our built environment? State government, with its plans to create sustainable transport and infrastructure so we can manage the rampant growth and “population pressures” that have been simmering in the alternative political world and have now gone mainstream?

Or the federal government perhaps, with strategic responses and plans that will guide us through the morass of issues?

Is the legal system ready for the Congo line of grievances against everyone in the supply chain who is not doing their best but making profits just the same?

Our theme for Tomorrowland  asks three big questions:

  1. We’re part of nature; how do we build cities and buildings that are good for us
  2. How do we finance what we want
  3. How do we prove shared value for social sustainability

Our responses to these questions will deliver the future we carve out for ourselves and that of our children and grandchildren.

Questions for the Inquisition

So what would your most incisive question be to the leaders who are designing and delivering our urban future?

Winners will be able to ask their question in person to our Inquisition session, “We the People”. It’s designed to find out if the development industry will give us the future we want and if not, why not.  

The Inquisition will consist of two panels. Panel 1, representing the stakeholders in our urban future, and Panel 2, representing the development industry.

As usual, our reporters will be there to capture the highlights and key learnings for our Tomorrowland ebook. 

Send your questions to events@thefifthestate.com.au

Closing date is noon, Monday, 3 September. Winners will be contacted by COB on Monday.

See the event page here