Crafting alternative scenarios involves the development of scenario maps that capture a community's collective ideas and values. Scenarios are developed by identifying common themes and trends that occur across many maps and determining which ideas work together.
Once the data has been compiled, analyzed, and digitized, common trends and themes will emerge. Themes can range from recent trends to performance improvements of the baseline, to those based on specific drivers such as housing, jobs, transportation, and conservation. Themes embodied in a scenario should work together to create a plausible and distinct alternative for consideration. The varied themes defining each scenario should be clear, and the differences between the scenarios should be easily distinguishable.
Identifying themes is a great group activity to do with stakeholders during a meeting or a retreat. As stakeholders work together to explore individual maps and look over data, they are able to see patterns that emerge across all maps and can start to group ideas that work together and could be developed into scenarios.
Click HERE to learn about an alternative approach for identifying themes using ET+ software from Fregonese & Associates.
Alternate scenarios usually depict a variety of ideas about how private development, transportation investments, and environmental conservation might occur in the future. Developing alternate scenarios helps illustrate the differences between possible choices, shows the range of possible outcomes, and informs selection of a preferred scenario.
A Closer Look: Salt Lake Depot District Scenario Development
Downtown Salt Lake City is the region's metropolitan center, serving as the hub of business and cultural activity in the region. It has the most intensive form of development for both employment and housing, with high-rise development common in the central business district. Downtown Salt Lake City will continue to serve as the finance, commerce, government, retail, tourism, arts, and entertainment center for the region. The Depot District is one of six catalytic sites identified in the Wasatch Choice for 2040 Vision and the area is identified as the only metropolitan center in the region.
In close collaboration with local officials and community members, Envision Utah conducted a visioning process at each site, and created a series of viable alternate scenarios. Let's take a closer look at the scenario development process at the Depot District site.
The Identifying Themes worksheet will help you identify common themes and trends that occur across workshop maps and public input.