Affordable Access

Publisher Website

Climate change scenarios and citizen-participation: Mitigation and adaptation perspectives in constructing sustainable futures

Habitat International
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2008.10.007
  • Futures Studies
  • Scenarios
  • Participation
  • Stakeholders
  • Urban Development
  • Climate Change
  • Open Innovation Process
  • Ecology
  • Geography


Abstract This paper discusses adaptation and mitigation strategies as outlined in climate change scenarios. The adaptive perspective is closely connected to the concept of resilience understood as different views on nature's capacity to absorb shocks, renewal and re-organization. In constructing normative scenarios images of the future are generated illustrating potential ways of living, travelling and consuming products and services where certain goals such as a reduced climate impact are fulfilled. This paper argues that tension arising from climate strategies relying on either adaptation or mitigation strategies, or combining the two strategies, warrant further examination. In this paper the inter-relationships between adaptation and mitigation are discussed by examining processes of citizen-participation in constructing scenarios and applying the concepts of resilience, vulnerability and adaptive capacity. We discuss this using the concept of deliberative planning processes as a means to achieve legitimate, effective and sustainable futures. As a part of this approach, we argue that methods for citizen-participation applied in exploring different science and technology options also provide useful insight for this type of planning processes. The theoretical arguments are combined with examples from environmental scenario construction in practice. The paper brings attention to tensions between sustainability content values, such as reduced climate impact, and more process-oriented values such as legitimacy, learning and participatory scenario construction. Moreover, the concept of open innovation processes is introduced to the context of participatory scenario construction comparing shared ground in terms of user-involvement in search of novel solutions and also increasing robustness of action plans implemented to reduce climate change.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.