Thinking About the Future with Scenario Tools – APA 2015, Seattle, WA

On April 18th, the OPTG teamed with PlaceMatters, the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the Sonoran Institute, and the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University to provide a day long training on scenario planning tools and techniques at the APA annual conference in Seattle. The workshop covered the theoretical and practical underpinnings of the way in which communities can use scenario planning tools to consider future choices. This included tools for acknowledging the inherent uncertainty about the future and to help pick actions that perform well over a range of possible futures. Hands on exercises and demonstrations were set up to provide an understanding of approach and how technology can support scenario planning processes. Also included were case studies of communities that have used a range of tools and techniques to plan for their future.

Thanks to Arnab Chakraborty from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ray Quay from Arizona State University, Brad Barnett from Calthorpe Analytics and Ken Snyder and Critter Thompson from PlaceMatters for co-leading the event. If you weren’t able to attend the workshop, some resources are posted below that might be of interest.


Lincoln Land Institute books and reports:

Other Notable Resources:

  • Quay, R. (2010). Anticipatory governance: A tool for climate change adaptation. Journal of the American Planning Association, 76(4), 496-511.
  • Chakraborty, A., Kaza, N., Knaap, G. J., & Deal, B. (2011). Robust plans and contingency plans: scenario planning for an uncertain world. Journal of the American Planning Association, 77(3), 251-266.
  • Chakraborty, A., McMillan, A., “Scenario Planning for Urban Planners: Toward a practitioner’s guide”. Journal of the American Planning Association (forthcoming)
  • Lempert, R. J. (2003). Shaping the next one hundred years: new methods for quantitative, long-term policy analysis. Rand Corporation.
  • A list of Tools & Techniques for Scenario Planning and Regional Planning put together by PlaceMatters
Critter Thompson

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