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Conference paper

Abstract: Visions and Pathways 2040 is a research and engagement project that seeks to envision possible future forms of Australian cities and lifestyles in 2040 if they have achieved an 80% reduction in their greenhouse gas emissions (on 2013 levels) and have addressed broader resilience issues, and, secondly, to ‘backcast’ from visions possible pathways to the present that may, in turn, suggest policies, strategies and governance structures for reaching them. This paper describes the approaches that were used in the initial phases of the project and early research results. A selection of the ‘glimpses’ of possible future low-carbon, resilient city forms and their associated lifestyles are presented. The ‘glimpses’ convey emerging aspirations for urban change, such as those related to localised resilience, cultural change, and community sustainability. We also outline an initial set of scenarios end-states (i.e. set in 2040), describing alternative futures of sustainable, resilient Australian cities based on different possible trajectories of social and technological drivers of change and emerging disruptive innovations. Elaborating and critically examining the set of scenarios, consulting further on specific domains of disruptive innovation, and developing governance and policy implications are part of the next phases of the project.


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