Fernandez Güell, Jose Miguel y Redondo Gómez, Leticia
Social attitude toward sustainable development in 2025: A case for reinforcing scenario design.
En: "4th International Seville Conference on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA)", 12/05/2011 - 13/05/2011, Sevilla, España.
This paper shows the role that some foresight tools, such as scenario design, may play in exploring the future impacts of global challenges in our contemporary Society. Additionally, it provides some clues about how to reinforce scenario design so that it displays more in-depth analysis without losing its qualitative nature and communication advantages. Since its inception in the early seventies, scenario design has become one of the most popular foresight tools used in several fields of knowledge. Nevertheless, its wide acceptance has not been seconded by the urban planning academic and professional realm. In some instances, scenario design is just perceived as a story telling technique that generates oversimplified future visions without the support of rigorous and sound analysis. As a matter of fact, the potential of scenario design for providing more in-depth analysis and for connecting with quantitative methods has been generally missed, giving arguments away to its critics. Based on these premises, this document tries to prove the capability of scenario design to anticipate the impacts of complex global challenges and to do it in a more analytical way. These assumptions are tested through a scenario design exercise which explores the future evolution of the sustainable development paradigm (SD) and its implications in the Spanish urban development model. In order to reinforce the perception of scenario design as a useful and added value instrument to urban planners, three sets of implications –functional, parametric and spatial— are displayed to provide substantial and in-depth information for policy makers. This study shows some major findings. First, it is feasible to set up a systematic approach that provides anticipatory intelligence about future disruptive events that may affect the natural environment and socioeconomic fabric of a given territory. Second, there are opportunities for innovating in the Spanish urban planning processes and city governance models. Third, as a foresight tool, scenario design can be substantially reinforced if proper efforts are made to display functional, parametric and spatial implications generated by the scenarios. Fourth, the study confirms that foresight offers interesting opportunities for urban planners, such as anticipating changes, formulating visions, fostering participation and building networks