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This research examines the scope for the application of future methodologies in urban planning processes. As contemporary cities undergo rapid changes resulting from technological and cultural transformations, expanding globalisation and new economic trends, the traditional ways in which cities were planned and managed become less effective, especially in times of accelerating change and growing complexities This research addresses an increasingly recognised need for a major shift in the way of thinking and acting about the future of cities, a shift from the traditional planning mind-set to a more imaginative, innovative and inclusive approach. The main aims of the study were to gain an understanding of how the future is created in the current city planning processes; what is the potential role of futures methodologies in these processes; and to develop a suitable futures methodology that would assist planners and decision-makers in changing their ways of thinking and acting about the future of cities. In order to achieve these aims an in-depth examination of the Futures Studies field and an extensive review of the theory underpinning the current planning approach towards the future was undertaken. Also, the way in which the future is constructed in existing planning processes in Dublin (the main case study city) was investigated, and planning initiatives employing futures methods in Dublin were reviewed. One of the main outcomes of the study was the adaptation of the Prospective methodology for use in urban planning processes. This was done in order to address the main problems and needs of current planning approach towards the future utilising the potential of futures methods. It is believed that the proposed methodology could assist communities in envisioning their desired future. It could also help planners and decision-makers in exploring future possibilities, understanding the complexities of urban environments and anticipating change and its consequences. The Prospective process could also be used as a platform for dialogue between communities and decision-makers and as a mechanism for collaboration amongst the stakeholders.
Krawczyk, E. (2006) Futures thinking in city planning processes: the case of Dublin. Doctoral Thesis. Dublin Institute of Technology. doi:10.21427/D7D02P