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February 2011

Future Shocks and Stresses to Cities

Feb 7, 2011 8:37 PM
Craig Applegath

I had the opportunity to attend the CAPS RESILIENCE Conference (See at ) held at the University of Waterloo this past week, and was very impressed by the planning students I met there. One of the interesting topics of that emerged during my conversations with attendees after my keynote presentation was the nature and extent of some of the shocks and stresses that cities might experience in the future as a result of some combination of Climate Change, Energy Scarcity, and Population Change.

This got me thinking about developing scenarios about what cities will have to prepare for in order to test the resilience strategies that we had been talking about at the conference.

It then occurred to me that we should take advantage of the ability of Web 2.0 to allow us to crowd-source these scenarios in a productive (and maybe even entertaining way).

What do you think? How about a virtual mini-charrette to crowd source ideas on potential scenarios for future shocks and stresses that our cities will have to build resilience to? Do you have any suggestions about how to run this?

My first thought would be to simply ask for everyone to suggest the best way to set it up, then run it for a couple of weeks, and see what we get. What about some sort of token reward to the most creative and compelling scenario? It could be judged by everyone who participated. Maybe on Survey Monkey? How about a Flip video cam as the reward for the most compelling scenario?

Looking for your input on this idea. Go to our Ideas and Discussion Group on Facebook to participate at 


Craig Applegath, Moderator,

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