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Linking territorial foresight and urban planning

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Abstract:

PurposeThis article aims to show the opportunity and benefits of linking territorial foresight tools to urban planning procedures. Additionally, it suggests ways to reinforce the scenario design method with more in-depth analysis, without losing its qualitative nature and communication advantages. Design/methodology/approachThese assumptions are tested in a scenario design exercise that explores the future evolution of the sustainable development paradigm and its implications in the Spanish urban development model. FindingsMajor findings are obtained on the feasibility of a systematic approach that provides anticipatory intelligence about future disruptive events that may affect the natural environment and the socioeconomic fabric of a given territory. In addition, the study confirms that foresight offers interesting opportunities for urban planners, such as anticipating changes, fostering participation and building networks, in contrast to its perception as a mere story-telling technique that generates oversimplified visions without the backing of rigorous analysis. Research limitations/implicationsIn order to boost the perception of scenario design as an added value instrument for urban planners, three sets of implications ‐ functional, parametric and spatial ‐ are displayed to provide substantial information for policy makers. Originality/valueThe value of the present work lies in the synergy that can be generated between territorial foresight and urban planning, offering a great opportunity for policy makers to use futurists' output as input for urban planners' work.

Keywords: Forecasting; Scenario design; Strategic planning; Sustainable development; Territorial foresight; Urban planning

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14636681211256107

Publication date: July 20, 2012

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