Please login first
Co-development of positive visions for future urban sustainability and resilience
* 1 , 2 , 2 , 2 , 3 , 1 , 4
1  The New School, Urban Systems Lab
2  Arizona State University
3  Georgia State University
4  USDA Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry


Positive future visioning and scenario development are important tools for guiding urban sustainability and resilience planning. Sustainability and resilience pathways for the long-term future are often difficult to envision and may often be different or even be incompatible. The co-development of future scenarios with local practitioners allows for the exploration of diverse plausible and desirable futures, while examiningpotential social-ecological-technological solutions, conflicts, and tradeoffs. In particular, the co-production of scenarios frees both practitioners and researchers from the typically problem-oriented focus on the short-term future and allows for positivelong-term visions, social-ecological-technological innovation, and transformational changes. We present a framework for co-developing sustainability-based future scenarios with local stakeholders to explore alternative plausible, desirable, and resilient urban futures. Through a series of workshops with local partners in cities across North and Latin America, we co-develop scenarios to address urban sustainability and resilience challenges, such as extreme climatic events, changing resource availability, and equity concerns. Through the scenarios co-development process, we develop tangible future visions with temporally and spatially explicit social-ecological-technological strategies, pathways, and targets to address the scenario challenges. Finally, we evaluate tradeoffs among the scenarios based on qualitative and quantitative sustainability and resilience assessments of each scenario. We present examples from the scenario development process in diverse cities with diverse challenges and future visions, including San Juan Puerto Rico, Valdivia Chile, New York City New York, and Phoenix Arizona. We highlight how visioning of coherent future scenarios and the co-production process can link anticipatory knowledge and visions to action and enhance capacity in cities for long-term planning.

Keywords: Urban sustainability; positive futures; co-production