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Participative Foresight for Smarter Cities

From a Vision over Scenarios to Roadmapping

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Recently, the smart city concepts have gained increasing importance in current energy and city planning. Various smart city projects which have been realized show that a systemic, integrative approach is crucial. However, in the projects the delineation of boundaries for integrative planning and the realization of systemic local solutions are challenging as the prevailing conventional planning tools and routines are limited. They usually propose top-down and short-term approaches with limited interactions with the stakeholders and limited interdisciplinary research (in particular involving areas of political sciences and sociology).To tackle these challenges, the proposed research project aims to enhance the existing planning routines by developing and testing systemic tools for multi-level stakeholder participation processes as well as for future-oriented thinking in city development. For this purpose, two Swiss and two Russian cities were selected, namely Winterthur, Zurich, Moscow and Kazan. These cities will be examined from the smart cities perspective with current and future applications at different implementation levels. Ideas and instruments will be developed to support their ongoing or planned smart city projects at district or city level by introducing participative and long term perspectives.In a series of workshops, participants’ visions, goals and interests will be elicited, compared with each other and contrasted with available data applying participative foresight methods and group model building techniques. Tools such as a GIS and a system dynamics simulation model will be developed to support the planning process, allow the integration of data and serve as a test-bed for proposed solutions. The systemic intervention and participation techniques will be continuously monitored and systematically evaluated. Moreover, a stakeholder-based scenario development process will be applied to envision future developments towards a smarter city and to distil roadmaps for the most desirable scenarios. The final outcomes include a scientifically based generic implementation roadmap and recommendations on integrated urban and energy planning routines and tools.