Problem DescriptionIn the future, regions around the world will face a number of external forces—such as climate change, new technologies, and shifting population and job locations—that will create major challenges and opportunities. These Future Forces are broader social, technological, economic, environmental, and political trends that can create sudden and rapid change. They are largely beyond the control of any individual government, business, or organization, but will have a profound impact on how we build livable communities, foster growth management, maintain economic competitiveness, and create a modern, multimodal transportation system. The "alternative futures approach," within scenario planning, is a method that provided the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) of the Greater Philadelphia Region with a way to work strategically in response to future needs, increasing resilience. The effort resulted in the "Future Forces" report: http://www.dvrpc.org/reports/16007A.pdf.
Alternative futures planning has long been common in the private sector, and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) around the country have also begun to employ this method in long-range comprehensive planning processes. An alternative futures approach addresses larger shifts by identifying the policy and strategy changes that could best help to capitalize on opportunities, mitigate or prepare for negative impacts, and address “known unknowns” relating to these macro level changes.
The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) of the Greater Philadelphia Region completed its most recent long-range regional plan, Connections 2040, in 2013, and is currently working on producing Connections 2045, a plan update. The first step toward completing the plan update is Future Forces, the region’s scenario planning effort with alternative futures approaches.
Solution StageOne of the 7 stages of an innovation. Learn more
|STAGE||SPECIALIST SKILLS REQUIRED||EXAMPLE ACTIVITIES||RISK LEVEL AND HANDLING||FINANCE REQUIRED||KINDS OF EVIDENCE GENERATED||GOAL|
|Developing and implementing5||Strong leadership, management, implementation skills|
|A robust and detailed case developed through formal evaluation and evidence gathering – use of a control group to isolate impact||An implemented and sustainable innovation|