Imagining Transitions: Designing a Visioning Process for Systemic Urban Sustainability Futures

Idil Gaziulusoy and Chris Ryan

urban transitions
systemic design
design for sustainability

Cities have become the locus of socio-technical and socio-ecological transition processes aimed at achieving sustainability. Sustainability transitions are defined by structural changes unfolding across different phases with varying pace and a large number of diverse actor-networks engaging over long-term. With these characteristics, transition projects are archetypal examples of wicked problems both during their conception and execution. The shift in transitions theory and practice from a sectoral focus to a focus on cities increased the systemic complexity that needs to be considered in transition projects with methodological implications. This paper reports and reflects on the design of a visioning process used in the front-end of Visions and Pathways 2040 project; a project that aimed at developing visions, scenarios and pathways for transitioning to low-carbon and resilient futures in Australian cities. Visons and Pathways 2040 project adopted complex adaptive systems view of cities avoiding considering city support systems in isolation from each other or from the built, social and natural environments they are embedded in. The visioning process engaged professionals, researchers and designers to build systemic visions in five iterative rounds in a half-day workshop. We discuss what we have achieved.

Posted: Oct-2017

RSD 10 Call for Papers

RSD10 offers a platform for discussing ongoing work with peers and presents the state-of-the-art in the systemic design field. This year there are two paper tracks: short papers for ongoing work, and long papers for finished work.

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