What Australia Will Look Like in 2043

Syfy’s new TV series, 12 Monkeys, inspires scientific predictions

Thursday, 19 March, 2015: Does fact meet fiction? That’s the Sixtyfour thousand dollar question!!?? In celebration of Syfy’s much anticipated 12 Monkeys TV series, which premieres tonight, a leading author and professor has unveiled what the future has in store for Australia.

Inspired by the hit 1995 film which starred Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis, Syfy’s new series follows the story of a time traveller from 2043 who makes the journey back to the present day on a mission to eradicate a deadly plague that threatens to wipe out the human race. 

To coincide with the launch, Syfy has enlisted the help of author and expert Professor Brendan Gleeson to develop predictions of what Australian cities will look like in 2043.

“In 2043 the environment will be harder on humans, without a doubt. It might not be the mass plague we see in 12 Monkeys, but I anticipate the effects of climate change could have a huge impact. As key global resources run out, we will have to adapt how we live and our cities will change to reflect that. Mass migration will also drive big changes as parts of the planet become much less inhabitable..

Australia’s cities will have grown in size and complexity but the major change will flow from a hotter, wilder climate and great stresses on basic resources, especially water and energy. On the positive side, great transitions to clean energy will have been made, and all parts of the urban fabric put to work harvesting energy and water. The urban tree canopy will have grown to give a much more forested feel to the cities.”

- Professor Brendan Gleeson, University of Melbourne

What Australia will look like in 2043

Australian cities will look much more like Hong Kong and Dubai in terms of cityscape with increased futuristic architectural design
Food and shade producing trees will adorn all streets giving a much stronger green canopy less hard surface feel to the cities
Cars will be few in number, small, driverless and lightweight
No personal flying cars but lots of drone like machines of many shapes and sizes including some carrying small numbers of human occupants.

 What Australian cities will look like in 2043? 


The Harbour Bridge will be white-grey, covered in solar absorbing material and will also have large open scoops over its main arches that collect massive amounts of rainwater.

There will be greenery on skylines that will have energy efficient vertical gardens

Increased use of ‘aquaculture’

More ‘towerscapes’ on the skyline (Parramatta, Penrith, Liverpool)


A great towerscape / city skyline

MCG covered for heat protection and water catchment

Aquaculture and solar arrays across Port Phillip Bay



Road tunnels to become safe havens through extreme weather conditions – due to global warming

Energy use transport will flock Brisbane’s river crisscrossed with dozens of foot/cycle bridges



New ultra-Mediterranean climate

Forefront for small, clean manufacturing using 3D printing

Inner city parks transformed for agriculture and water catchment



Depopulation due to climate change and a collapse in water catchment


A poorer, less well maintained city overall


12 Monkeys premieres on Syfy on Thursday March 19 at 8:30pm*, first on Foxtel.

Brendan Gleeson is available for further commentary - for online footage click here

High Res Images here


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