Learning from Futures: Utilising Scenario Thinking in Strategic Spatial Planning

Julkaisun otsikon käännös: Learning from Futures: Utilising Scenario Thinking in Strategic Spatial Planning

Kristi Grišakov

Tutkimustuotos: Doctoral ThesisMonograph


Strategic spatial planning has a specific commitment to future. It concerns the future transformation of place and constantly seeks ways to imagine different futures creatively and collectively (Hillier, 2011; Albrechts, 2005). However, much traditional planning has focused on preserving the existing order rather than challenging and transforming it (Albrechts, 2015). This, in combination with the need to address the 'radical' uncertainty (Zapata and Kaza, 2015) of the future, and to account for the multiplicity of communities that essentially shape the future (Hajer and Wagenaar, 2003), creates the need to rethink the praxis of strategic spatial planning (Hillier, 2013). While there is agreement that stra- tegic spatial planning should address the uncertainty of the future, there is less clarity about how exactly to deal with such a future. This research is a methodological inquiry into using futures studies techniques in the context of strategic spatial planning, more specifically the approach of 'scenario thinking'. It explores the potential contribution of scenario thinking to knowledge and capabilities needed in strategic spatial planning. In order to find opportunities for such a contribution, the dialogue between the disciplines of strategic spatial planning and scenario planning is explored, focusing specifically on the debates on knowledge needs. The research focuses on three core capabilities: 1) the capability to critically compare and learn from completed scenario planning documents; 2) the capability to design explorative scenario development projects in the context of strategic spatial planning, especially focusing on the aspects of re-framing, evidence and intuition; 3) the capability to create scenario stories, focusing on how the knowledge collected during the scenario project can be interpreted and mediated as scenario stories and story visuals. Finally, these core capabilities are interlinked, to discuss how scenario thinking as an iterative process can be connected with the wider practice of knowing in planning; not exclusively to be used for the purposes of strategic framing, but also to support reflective planning practice in general. Through the careful analysis of how knowledge is understood, gathered, used, and validated in scenario thinking, the research illustrates how various types of knowledge (episteme, techne, phronesis) are used not consecutively, but parallelly as an iterative process. For example, phronesis is used already in the beginning of the scenario thinking process in order to define re-framing needs. The practice of knowing through scenario thinking can and should be in dialogue with the practice of knowing in planning. This research proposes that planners can use scenario thinking to support collective learning and reflection for looking outwards in order to inform strategic framing but also for looking inwards to support reflective practice.
Julkaisun otsikon käännösLearning from Futures: Utilising Scenario Thinking in Strategic Spatial Planning
Myöntävä instituutio
  • Aalto-yliopisto
  • Mäntysalo, Raine, Vastuuprofessori
  • Ache, Peter, Ohjaaja
Painoksen ISBN978-952-64-1483-6
Sähköinen ISBN978-952-64-1484-3
TilaJulkaistu - 2023
OKM-julkaisutyyppiG4 Monografiaväitöskirja


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