The landscape of envisioning and speculative design methods for sustainable mobility futures

Helena Sustar*, Miloš N. Mladenović, Moshe Givoni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Urban mobility is facing an increased long-term uncertainty and complexity generated by accelerated technological development. These challenges require radical advancement in planning processes and methods, which could enable breaking out of path dependencies and unlocking alternative, sustainable futures. In order to provide a landscape overview of foresight-focused methods used in the domain of urban mobility, we conduct a systematic literature review. An analytical framework for review is based on planning knowledge taxonomy, including dialectic between knowing how/what and knowing to what end and doing. Such framework formulation is aiming to assess methodological capacity for widening system boundary and holism (object-focus) as well as integration and imagination (process-focus). Results show that the overall trend of methodological development is emphasizing development in object or process-focus domain, but rarely both. In addition to this assessment, we conclude that methodological development should further reflect the moral and democratic dimension concerning public deliberation. Such development should aim to create spaces for shared discussion, reflection, and formation of alternative futures, while allowing spaces for agonistic contestation and conflicting opinions through radical, experimental, and experiential approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2447
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020


FundersFunder number
FINEST-TWINS Center of Excellence
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme856602
Academy of Finland303538


    • Future studies
    • Imagination
    • Mobilities
    • Mobility futures
    • Scenarios
    • Speculative design
    • Urban planning
    • Utopia


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