Urbani izziv Volume 26, No. 2, December 2015
Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
Challenges and potentials in using alternative landscape futures during climate change: A literature review and survey study
This study focuses on the feasibility of applying alternative futures and scenario analysis in landscape planning during climate change to provide a wider perspective and deeper understanding of this approach for better use and more effective application in the future. The study consists of a literature review and an analysis of recent applied projects carried out worldwide. In addition, an electronic survey was conducted from March to September 2014 to examine viewpoints on the use and application of this approach with reference to climate-change impacts. The survey participants were a group of highly experienced researchers from eighteen countries involved in at least one applied project since 2000 relating to this topic. After analysis of more than forty applied projects, the survey results were incorporated into the analysis to create a comprehensive picture regarding the potentials and limitations of alternative futures and scenario analysis in landscape planning with particular attention to climate change. The findings show that this method is one of the most effective decision-making approaches for adopting landscape policies where landscapes change rapidly under the pressure of urbanisation and climate change. Nevertheless, there is a gap between the advances offered by the approach in various dimensions and the complexity of patterns, uncertainties and upheavals in landscapes due to climate-change impacts in the urbanising world. The research indicates that the approach opens up a great opportunity for decision-makers to expand their perspective and adopt appropriate landscape policies before reaching a point of no return from the sustainability point of view. Meanwhile, there are challenges and barriers in the application of alternative futures and scenario analysis for envisioning the landscapes influenced by climate change and urbanisation that should be pushed back. Although informative, this research raises new questions about this approach and its applications in the future, providing a basis for further research.
alternative landscape futures, scenario analysis, climate change, urbanisation, survey study, experts’ viewpoint