Venture capital firm Fifth Wall launched a mural on Rose Avenue in Venice as part of its multi-city campaign to bring public attention to the real estate industry’s need to start investing into climate technology now. Photo Courtesy of Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.

Multicity art campaign encourages people to choose Earth

By Bridgette M. Redman

As people gather around the world to discuss climate change, Fifth Wall is greeting them with murals stressing the importance of climate work.

Fifth Wall is the largest venture capital firm focused on technologies for the global real estate industry. Their mural project is intended to draw public attention to the real estate industry’s need to invest in climate technology. The real estate industry is considered the world’s largest contributor to the climate crisis as it accounts for nearly 40 percent of global energy, greenhouse gases and raw materials.

The mural launched at 6 Rose Avenue in Venice in October — the second in the multicity campaign — went up last week to coincide with the Milkin Institute’s Global Conference which had the theme “Charting a New Course.” It will be up until November 4.

The mural was created by Kent Yoshimura, an artist and multimedia creative who has directed content for such global brands as AT&T, Ford, Lego and McDonalds. Yoshimura learned about Fifth Wall’s mission when they hired him and it was one he could get behind.

“I would much rather work with a company that is goal-driven for a cause I care about like sustainability than a company that is just in it for the profit and doing marketing on the basis of self-promotion without a cause,” Yoshimura said.

With a background in the arts and children’s book illustrations, he chose to create a mural that was very whimsical, though because of the seriousness of the topic, he used fewer colors than he usually does.

“I wanted to play with this idea of longing,” Yoshimura said. “I wanted to present that emotional through line with this piece.”

The mural reads, “What planet are you on? Choose Earth,” showing a cartoon figure standing on Mars while Earth is surrounded in clouds. The concept is to encourage people to make our home planet a priority rather than engage in a space race to colonize Mars.

“The big concept is why are we building on Mars and other planets when we have this amazing planet we live on already,” Yoshimura said. “We have this amazing home. The mural shows people who are looking back at this planet we left behind.”

Yoshimura works with a team of artists whom he says are very cause-driven, whether it is climate change or social justice.

“I do think it is important for people to be aware that we’re going to be living in a drastically different world in the next few decades because of climate change acceleration and the climate change we’re contributing to,” he said.

While Yoshimura is committed to using his art to draw awareness to the dangers of climate change, he also thinks it is important to stay optimistic and to have hope that there is light and solutions ahead.

“I’m incredibly hopeful because there are a lot of very smart people working on very smart solutions,” Yoshimura said. “It’s important for all of us to be aware and stay optimistic while being cognizant of what issues exist.”

The Fifth Wall mural campaign puts up its third installment in Glasgow, Scotland to coincide with COP26, the UN Climate Change conference. The campaign began in New York City during Climate Week with an announcement that they had raised $140 million from major real estate companies for the Fifth Wall Climate Tech Fund, dedicated to helping reduce the real estate industry’s carbon footprint.

“While the long-term possibility of multiplanetary civilization is adventurous and inspiring, the near-term priority is clear — we must choose Earth. Investing in climate technology is absolutely critical to decarbonizing real estate, among other industries,” said Brendan Wallace, co-founder and managing partner at Fifth Wall in a press release about the mural project. “Fifth Wall’s Climate Tech Fund presents an opportunity for sustainability-focused real estate firms committed to reducing carbon emissions to do so through investments in climate technology that addresses decarbonization across all stages and asset classes within the global real estate industry — the single largest contributor to the climate crisis.”

Fifth Wall