The Future of Cities and Regions

The anthology ”The Future of Cities and Regions” is just about to be published by Springer. I have made a contribution to the book, titled ”Stockholm 2030”. It is the result of my participation in a workshop at the World Congress for Architects in Torino, Italy in 2008, where the use of models for prognosis and simulation at different levels of urban planning was discussed by professionals from different countries. It has taken some time to get the results published but now the book is published at last. Thanks Giuseppe och Luca for your work.
This guide for tomorrow’s urban practitioner systematically explains fifteen best practices across three continents; it explores questions of broad interest for designing and planning the future of cities and regions. Key questions addressed are: Is simulation useful to explore the effects of different design, policy and planning strategies? Which approach will help manage the uncertainties of metropolitan areas both today and tomorrow ? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the different simulation practices for city leadership, public and private partnership, and citizen involvement? The book reviews computer models and media, socio-political initiatives, professional practices which help communicating the future effects of different design, political and planning strategies with a wide range of aims: from information, through consultation, towards active participation. These world best practices are considered according to four leading issues for urban and regional development, respectively Simulation, Scenario and Visioning, Government and Governance, and Scale. The book examines the approaches adopted technically and procedurally. The selected knowledge and the innovative tools used in each case study are among the most advanced and up-to-date in the professional and research fields. This volume successfully illustrates these innovative practices and methodologies in a straightforward and accessible way.
My contribution is about the use of models in the work with the Regional Development Plan 2010 for the  Stockholm Region. This work was not completed at the time for the conference but long before the book was published.
The regional development plan for the Stockholm Region should meet the growth which was expected to occur in various areas during the next 30 years, e.g. the growing population and the increasing transportation needs. Since the regional plan is only a guideline and not binding the municipalities had to be voluntarily involved in the preparation. The physical structure is of great importance for the location of households and companies and the implementation of the plan. The successive creation and evaluation of alternative planning scenarios, describing the possible future land use and transportation structure, was a central part of the planning process. A number of forecasting and modeling tools were used for the creation and evaluation of these scenarios. Using GIS and Transport Models as tools can serve and facilitate the planning process and the dialogue with stakeholders as well as the understanding of future spatial scenarios. A number of environmental, economical and social impacts can be considered and evaluated comprehensively. A large number of alternatives can rapidly be evaluated, discarded or approved for further analysis. New alternatives and combinations of alternatives can be evaluated on demand from stakeholders.