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Urban sustainability and resilience are important guiding visions for cities. Urban ecology can bring useful perspectives on the future development of cities, but requires collaborative approaches to address city planning and management needs. We co-develop scenarios to explore alternative social-ecological-technological futures using three distinct methodological approaches. We explored adaptive, strategic, and transformative futures. Adaptive futures are developed in response to extreme events. Strategic futures are projected forward using existing municipal goals and targets. Transformative futures are back-casted from radically transformed visions of sustainability. This project integrates plausibility-based futures (what is most likely to happen) and desirability-based futures (what we would like to happen).

Through collaborative workshops with community, municipal, and academic stakeholders, we identified key priorities and strategies that decision makers are using to frame urban development and address climatic extreme events (i.e., flood, drought, and heat). We also identified systems and normative conflicts and trade-offs within the distinct future pathways. Development of these scenarios allows us to contrast diverse alternative future pathways and explore interacting strategies for urban sustainability and resilience. This project demonstrates how scenario construction can enhance research and decision-making capacity for long-range sustainability planning.



August 2020 — Ongoing