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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Jens Schippl

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate and discuss how stakeholder assessment of scenarios can be used to trigger a structured and, therefore, more efficient debate…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate and discuss how stakeholder assessment of scenarios can be used to trigger a structured and, therefore, more efficient debate amongst stakeholders about future options for achieving a more eco-efficient transport system in Europe. Particularly, it wants to explore the extent to which a distinction between the desirability and the feasibility of a potential future development can render such debates more rational and transparent.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a project on eco-efficient transport for the Science and Technology Option Assessment panel of the European Parliament (STOA). Key elements of the methods used in the STOA project were easily understandable scenarios and a survey of the main assumptions underlying the scenarios. Both the scenarios and the survey were used in a stakeholder workshop to assess the desirability and the feasibility of approaches towards establishing a more eco-efficient transport system.

Findings

The methodological approach proved helpful for collecting a large amount of valuable information in a relative short time. In particular, the distinction between desirability and feasibility was useful in mapping out the patterns of opinion amongst stakeholders and for understanding where there is common ground, where there are differences and what the reasons behind these differences are. It helped in identifying promising pathways towards more eco-efficient transport futures and in getting a better understanding of barriers and of the ways to overcome them.

Practical implications

The approach served as the basis for having a well-structured, rational and, thus, efficient debate. In practice, this factor is relevant because stakeholder involvement is crucial when it comes to transitions of socio-technical systems, such as the transport system. Keeping stakeholders motivated to take part in such participatory processes is only possible, however, if they perceive that these processes are well-structured and, therefore, efficient.

Originality/value

In contrast to many other scenario-based approaches, the scenarios in this project were understood as an input to the discussion and not as the result of a process. Furthermore, not only the results but also the underlying assumptions of the scenarios were explicitly made a topic for assessment. The differentiation between desirability and feasibility was used as a guiding dimension for the assessment.

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Article
Publication date: 20 July 2012

Jens Schippl and Torsten Fleischer

As in other socio‐technical fields, future‐oriented technology analysis (FTA) methods are used in transport planning to provide knowledge for decision‐making. Potential

Abstract

Purpose

As in other socio‐technical fields, future‐oriented technology analysis (FTA) methods are used in transport planning to provide knowledge for decision‐making. Potential effects of policy interventions should be assessed; risk and uncertainties should be reduced; unintended effects should be avoided. A variety of tools and methods of rather different character are applied, none of these methods are able to systematically reproduce a complete system; they all have their specific limits. It is not always clear, however, which method could be used for which purpose. In this paper, a transparent and problem‐oriented categorisation of FTA‐methods is suggested. It aims at supporting an appropriate usage of FTA‐methods in planning processes.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review carried out in context of the EU funded transport project OPTIC (see www.optic.toi.no) reveals that differentiating between different types of uncertainty is possible. This sets the basis for the problem‐oriented categorisation of FTA methods. Key criteria for the categorisation of methods are their abilities in dealing with different types of missing knowledge.

Findings

Two categories are introduced which are called “structurally open methods” and “structurally closed methods”. It is shown that the openness‐closedness dichotomy is highly important for the type of unintended effects that can be detected with a method.

Originality/value

The paper has a novel approach for structuring FTA techniques that goes beyond the traditional quantitative/qualitative approach. It juxtaposes a problem typology and a typology of methods

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