August 5, 2020
A Guide to Using Scenarios: Foresight for Resilient Cities
Contributors: Julie Fader, Aileen Jang, Nathalia Prieto, Sasha Shirokova, Jessica Thornton and Ayana Webb
Use this guide to learn about and practice strategic foresight and scenario development
Our world was already rapidly changing before COVID-19. New technologies, advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, and big data were already having tremendous impacts on social, economic, and political spheres. We’re also in a climate crisis threatening communities and ecosystems across the globe with wildfires, rising sea levels, flooding, and poor air quality. These amplify deeply entrenched and longstanding issues like racism and inequality, housing insecurity, homelessness, and socio-economic disparities. We are living through a period of intense uncertainty, and governments and organizations need tools and strategies to navigate this time.
One such tool is strategic foresight, and Future Cities Canada is using it to support our partner organizations and municipal governments across Canada. To build resilient communities and be effective in a complex and everchanging world, municipal staff, city builders and other decision-makers must look ahead to anticipate emerging trends, issues, opportunities, and threats. Strategic foresight is a field that enables them to do just that: strategic foresight enhances people’s capacity to detect, respond to, and learn from patterns of change.