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‘Rapid Scenario Planning’ to Support a Regional Sustainability Transformation Vision: A Case Study from Blekinge, Sweden
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. (SustainTrans)
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. (SustainTrans)
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. (SustainTrans)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0974-3196
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. (SustainTrans)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8314-7504
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2020 (English)In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 12, no 17, article id 6928Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a case study of a transdisciplinary scenario planning workshop that was designed to link global challenges to local governance. The workshop was held to improve stakeholder integration and explore scenarios for a regional planning project (to 2050) in Blekinge, Sweden. Scenario planning and transdisciplinary practices are often disregarded by practitioners due to the perception of onerous resource requirements, however, this paper describes a ‘rapid scenario planning’ process that was designed to be agile and time-efficient, requiring the 43 participants from 13 stakeholder organizations to gather only for one day. The process was designed to create an environment whereby stakeholders could learn from, and with, each other and use their expert knowledge to inform the scenario process. The Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD) was used to structure and focus the scenario planning exercise and its subsequent recommendations. The process was evaluated through a workshop participant survey and post-workshop evaluative interview with the regional government project manager to indicate the effectiveness of the approach. The paper closes with a summary of findings which will support those wishing to conduct similar rapid scenario planning exercises to inform policy planning for complex systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI, 2020. Vol. 12, no 17, article id 6928
Keywords [en]
strategic sustainable development; scenario planning; transdisciplinary; regional development; sustainability governance; sustainability transformation; urban planning
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-20455DOI: 10.3390/su12176928ISI: 000571061800001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-20455DiVA, id: diva2:1469699
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open access

Available from: 2020-09-22 Created: 2020-09-22 Last updated: 2023-04-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Scaffolding for multistakeholder dialogue-based processes in strategic planning for transitioning to sustainable mobility
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Scaffolding for multistakeholder dialogue-based processes in strategic planning for transitioning to sustainable mobility
2023 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There are numerous sustainability challenges related to mobility. One of the main challenges is the necessary reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The transport sector is one of the main emitters. There are also challenges regarding accessibility, health, equity, and justice that need to be considered. The recent COVID-19 pandemic led to a temporary decrease in emissions (mainly from reduced aviation), at the same time as there were worsening aspects such as social exclusion. These and other complex challenges requireurgent, comprehensive change and creative solutions. The urgency for a change adds to the challenge of mobility planning since conventional planning processes are usually slow. Moreover, local planners who plan for transitioning to sustainable mobility need to facilitate participatory processes since mobility planning affects many stakeholders. When engaging with planning practitioners, it was found that there is a lack of tools that can support practitioners when conducting reflective and generative multistakeholder dialogues.

The aim of this research was to develop process-oriented methodological support for multistakeholder dialogues in strategic planning for transitioning to sustainable mobility. A transdisciplinary research approach was used to explore this topic, including the problem space of participatory research modes. Furthermore, a design research approach was used for tool development.

A comprehensive literature review to identify prominent research themes in regional and urban planning for transitioning to sustainable mobility was made. The developments in the field over the past 15 years show a paradigm shift from ‘predict-and-provide’ to participatory visionary approaches, such as backcasting and SymbioCity. However, this has led to new challenges concerning processes that support reflective and generative stakeholder dialogue in a rapidly changing and highly diversified world. These challenges relate to, among other things, an insufficient diversity in multistakeholder processes, a limited availability of stakeholders to participate in such processes and a lack of tools that can aid with an overview of various sustainability goals from policy and planning documents.

Among participatory research approaches, transdisciplinary research and action research were explored. As these research modes have become prominent, it is important to know more about them. It was found that transdisciplinary research could be particularly useful for advisory reflective contexts, whereas action research could be particularly useful for contexts where action is a priority.

The dissertation presents further forms of methodological support that can help structure participatory multistakeholder dialogue-based processes:− a framework for analysing the complexity of co-production settings in relation to epistemic communities, linguistic diversities, and culture;− a rapid scenario planning method to support regional visioning for sustainability transformation; and− the MUSTS tool that connects sustainability goals at multiple levels with stakeholders who have the power and legitimacy to act upon them. To conclude, the methodological process-supporting tools that were investigated and those developed in this research offer a form of “scaffolding”that aids facilitators to organise more efficient and effective participatory processes. These scaffolding tools are rooted in transdisciplinary coproduction of knowledge research and offer promising elements for a toolbox for strategic planning for transitioning to sustainable mobility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2023. p. 407
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Doctoral Dissertation Series, ISSN 1653-2090 ; 2023:06
Keywords
sustainability, transdisciplinary, co-production of knowledge, mobility, strategic planning, facilitation, dialogue-based process
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Strategic Sustainable Development
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-24433 (URN)978-91-7295-456-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2023-06-09, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2023-04-28 Created: 2023-04-27 Last updated: 2023-04-28Bibliographically approved

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Thomson, GilesNy, HenrikNikulina, VarvaraBorén, SvenAyers, JamesBryant, Jayne

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