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Opening Access to Scenario Planning Tools

A “Policy Focus Report” by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy:

About This Report

This report examines the current state of scenario planning, the promise of scenario planning tools to help us prepare for the future, the challenges to expanding their use, and their potential to open access to the planning process. It makes specific recommendations to advance the use of scenarios and scenario planning tools, including development of an online platform to facilitate collaboration, capacity building, and open source activities among scenario tool developers, urban planners, and other tools users.

The authors review existing research and experience with scenario planning and document the results of a series of workshops and conversations convened by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the Sonoran Institute in 2010 and 2011. Participants included professional and citizen planners who practice scenario planning, academics researching scenario planning, and experts who develop tools to support scenario planning. The goals of this ongoing project are to synthesize what is known about how scenarios are being used for community and regional planning, collect data on the tools being used to assist this planning, and identify the most important means to advance scenario planning to benefit future community needs. A new website,, will be the online host for this initiative.

Additional information

Related tools

A list of tools that are mentioned in this reference: