Participatory visioning for building disruptive future scenarios for transport and land use planning

Participatory visioning in transport scenario building can be particularly useful to anticipate and examine unexpected outcomes over long-term future timelines, providing broad legitimacy to today’s decision-making processes. However, the strategic value of participatory approaches is increasingly being contested due to the difficulty to operationalize non-linear thinking, resulting in long-term visions similar to business-as-usual projections. To address this challenge, the authors developed and implemented a novel participatory visioning approach based on using semi-structured interviews that incorporate two types of wild cards – low probability and high impact processes – as disruptive visioning triggers: imaginable and unimaginable processes. A group of experts evaluated the level of disruptive thinking in the generated future visions. The Henares Corridor in the Metropolitan Area of Madrid, Spain provided the empirical focus. The results present a total of seven 2050 visions: one desired common vision plus six wild card visions. Higher levels of disruptive thinking were mainly present in those future visions generated by unimaginable processes, as such processes initiate highly diverging participant future views. It was also noted that smaller and specific groups of participants can visualize 2050 futures more disruptively. Conclusions and reflections on the strengths and weakness of the presented approach are drawn.


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  • Accession Number: 01760774
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 24 2020 3:05PM