Infrastructure projects like this only come around once in a blue moon – over the course of a decade-plus, from planning to construction to operation – the City of Fort Wayne’s Tunnel Works project is a big deal. The technical expertise and equipment needed to build 5-mile long, 16-foot wide deep rock tunnel to hold sewage overflow from storm events is no easy task.
A community investment on such a scale needs to be communicated clearly – not only would the construction impact multiple neighborhoods, but the finished project will raise the quality of life for the entire county. With the need to share the story with citizens ages 5 to 85, Fort Wayne’s City Utilities engaged SmallBox to direct the creation of a video and accompanying design piece to be used in community engagement.
Armed with a bevy of stats, engineering diagrams, and story angles from a fruitful collaborative session with City Utility staff, we quickly got buy-in on a positive narrative centered around protecting the world’s most important resource – water. Our storyboard and script, produced in tandem to shorten timelines, was written to clearly communicate the benefits of Tunnel Works by telling the story of a storm event before – and after – the project. We leveraged local animators to create a film that would work equally well online, before a presentation, or in a classroom.
We also produced an infographic that employed the same visual aesthetic. Playing on people’s interest in lists of facts – we visually highlighted incredible features of the Tunnel Works program, above and below the ground. Built in pieces, we future-proofed the design piece to be edited with fresh content given that Tunnel Works won’t be completed till 2025.