Published on 23 September 2014
A USC academic has come up with an innovative proposal to use ‘digital bridges’ to span the geographical and cultural divides between sister cities around the world.
Dr Uwe Terton, who teaches Computer-based Design at USC, used his keynote address at the Xiamen Cooperation Forum for International Friendship Cities in China earlier this month, to present his idea for promoting global friendship and understanding through technology.
Dr Terton said he would like to see an interactive digital space set up in a public area, such as the planned new CBD in Maroochydore, where people could see news and events from Xiamen and the Coast’s four other sister cities in a communal way.
“This includes a space with benches and trees where people can meet and a projector on a wall showing cultural events from sister cities like a soccer match or a concert or other events,” he said.
“There would also be an app for people to download to get notices about what events will be shown when. This idea would not only bring people together in the digital virtual world but bring them together in the real world too.
“Similarly Xiamen and the other sister cities would have a digital space providing a window to the Sunshine Coast where they could see our news and perhaps even watch surf lifesaving carnivals or other community events.”
During his stay in China, Dr Terton said he also met with representatives from Xiamen’s two universities to discuss future academic and student exchanges and how USC could work closer with them in the future.
“It is a place that USC and the Sunshine Coast Council are keen to develop a closer relationship with,” he said. “Xiamen is amazingly high tech, and with a population of four million people, it is an economic powerhouse.”
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said Dr Terton was invited to the forum as a result of a successful Education and Tourism Trade Mission to China by Council and USC representatives in June.
“I understand that Dr Terton’s contribution to the forum was very well received by the delegates and Xiamen City representatives,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Dr Terton’s learnings from the forum provide valuable insight on ways the Sunshine Coast can use digital solutions to further develop relations with our international friendship and sister cities into the future.”
Like the Sunshine Coast, Xiamen is a popular seaside holiday destination.
— Jane Cameron