Situations of Opportunity in City Transformation: – enriching evaluative case study methodology with scenarios and backcasting, exploring the sustainable development of three Stockholm city districts
2009 (English)In: Proceedings of the ENHR Conference 2009, Prague, 2009Conference paper (Refereed)
To keep global warming at 2°C, society faces challenges of a totally new magnitude. In Swedenlike any high-income country, it becomes a powerful driving force in city transformation. Tackling this challenge of urban sustainable development poses problems for planners and researchers alike: What planning processes, what urban structures enable transformation, how can planners and other actors combine forces to deliberate themselves from path dependency,extending their freedom of action? In this paper, we explore how evaluative case study methodology merged with techniques from Futures Studies provide a cross-disciplinary research approach that defines the challenge in scope and time while retaining its complexity. Case studies are in-depth analyses of a small number of units, enabling studies of complex phenomena; for us, complexity means integrating the issues of What to change and change by Whom in order to explore How change can come about and evaluate How much it could contributeto urban sustainable development. How can this approach be developed to explore the future? Futures Studies can indicate the probable or supply visions of the desirable, it can be normative or descriptive. For our purpose, it is normative, focusing on the long-term necessityof mitigating global warming. Through it, we develop scenarios that explore the path of transformation of three Stockholm City Districts, from today’s climate changing society towardsa 2060s vision of a low carbon, low energy society. From historical studies we learned that there are shorter periods – Situations of Opportunity – when inertia against change is low. This concept we now apply to future Situations, making these our cases proper. For each Situation in every district we develop three representations of their realisation in the upcomingdecades: the Final Scenario is a narrative of the whole, seen from the future; the computerisedEnergy Usage Model quantifies outcomes in terms of reduced energy use; the Transformative Governance Network illustrates the process of change, its agents and their forms of co-operation. Elements of the approach could contribute to the practice of planning.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Other Environmental Engineering
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-27620OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-27620DiVA: diva2:378609
European Network for Housing Research Conference (ENHR), Prague 28 June - 01 July 2009
QC 201012162010-12-162010-12-162012-02-13Bibliographically approved