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We conducted case studies using a novel incremental scenario approach. With local actors, we co-developed visions of desirable futures, normative scenarios that might lead towards those futures, and inventoried ‘hinge points’: critical moments in time where things might lead to a better or worse future. To bridge the latter, specific information or climate services might be needed. The cases showed that the new approach could be applied and tailored successfully in a variety of situations. The novel notion of hinge points allowed us to inventory critical challenges and ambitions relevant to the local situation: climate-related as well as key socio-economic, legal, policy/political, and technological ones. It also resulted an inventory of key information and climate service needs.
Content may be subject to copyright.
The CoCliServ project benefits from funding obtained through the
ERA4CS Joint Call on Researching and Advancing Climate Services
CoCliServ is funded by the following national funding agencies: Agence Nationale de la Recherche
(ANR), France; Service public fédéral de programmation politique scientifique (BELSPO), Belgium;
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt EV (DLR), Germany; Nederlandse organisatie voor
wetenschappelijk onderzoek (NWO), the Netherlands; Norges forskningsrad (RCN), Norway.
Deliverable 2.2
Incremental scenario case studies
Author(s) and affiliation(s)
Arjan Wardekker1,2, Mandy van den Ende1, Benedikt
Marschütz1, Marjolein Pijnappels3, Sandy Hofland4, Scott
Bremer2, Anne Blanchard2, Lisbeth Iversen2, Jeroen van der
Sluijs2, Werner Krauß6, Ana Rocha7, Charlotte da Cunha7,
Juan Baztan7, Lionel Jaffrès8
With workshop contributions by: Janette Bessembinder5, Heleen
Mees1, Dries Hegger1, Hens Runhaar1, Elisabeth Jensen2, Marianne
Cardon9, Florentin Breton10
1 Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University
2 Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, University of Bergen
3 Studio Lakmoes
4 CAS Climate Adaptation Services
5 KNMI Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute
6 artec Sustainabiltity Research Center, University of Bremen
7 CEARC, University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines
8 Theatre du Grain
9 Freelance designer
LSCE, University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines
D2.2. Incremental Scenario Case Studies
Table of contents
Executive summary/summary......................................................................................... 5
Goal/Purpose of the document ...................................................................................... 5
Relationship to the Description of Work (DOW) ........................................................... 5
1. Introduction ................................................................................................................ 6
2. Theoretical background and approach .................................................................. 7
2.1. General theory .................................................................................................... 7
2.2. Visioning .............................................................................................................. 8
2.3. Scenarios and hinge points .............................................................................. 9
3. Case study: Dordrecht, the Netherlands ............................................................. 13
3.1. Case Introduction ............................................................................................. 13
3.1.1. Case study situation ................................................................................. 13
3.1.2. Setup of the scenario work ..................................................................... 13
3.2. Results................................................................................................................ 17
3.2.1. Theme 1: Close-knit Island Community ................................................ 17
3.2.2. Theme 2: Innovative Connections ......................................................... 21
3.3. Reflection ........................................................................................................... 25
3.3.1. Methodological reflection ....................................................................... 25
3.3.2. Knowledge needs ..................................................................................... 29
4. Case Study: Jade Bay, Germany ............................................................................. 31
4.1. Case introduction ............................................................................................. 31
4.1.1. Case study situation ................................................................................. 32
4.1.2. Preparation, setting and realization of scenario activities ................ 33
D2.2. Incremental Scenario Case Studies
4.2. Results................................................................................................................ 40
4.2.1. Scenario exercise: Wilhelmshaven ........................................................ 40
4.2.2. Scenario exercise: Dangast workshop .................................................. 41
4.2.3. Scenario exercise: Westerstede workshop .......................................... 43
4.3. Reflections / Synthesis .................................................................................... 46
5. Case study: Bergen, Norway .................................................................................. 48
5.1. Introduction ...................................................................................................... 48
5.2. Workshop method stage by stage and critical reflections ........................ 49
5.2.1. Welcome and introduction to the workshop ....................................... 49
5.2.2. Group composition and facilitation style ............................................. 49
5.2.3. Developing climate scenarios for Bergen in 2050 .............................. 52
5.2.4. Back-casting ways to the future ............................................................. 56
5.2.5. Identifying resource needs, obstacles and writing a wish list ........... 58
5.2.6. Plenary session and evaluation forms .................................................. 58
5.3. Findings and discussion .................................................................................. 60
5.3.1. Analysis of the research results ............................................................. 60
5.3.2. Theme 1: Bergen as a ‘climate science city .......................................... 61
5.3.3. Theme 2: Engaged citizens in a healthy democracy ........................... 63
5.3.4. Theme 3: Resilient Bergensers ............................................................... 65
5.3.5. Theme 4: A city linked to nature ............................................................ 67
5.3.6. Theme 5: Transport in the city ............................................................... 68
5.3.7. Theme 6: Safe and smart buildings ....................................................... 71
5.3.8. Hinge points or key moments towards affecting future scenarios .. 71
D2.2. Incremental Scenario Case Studies
5.3.9. Identifying Bergen’s needs for climate services .................................. 73
5.4. Summary ........................................................................................................... 76
6. Case study: Golfe du Morbihan, France ............................................................... 77
6.1. Case Introduction ............................................................................................. 77
6.1.1. Case study situation ................................................................................. 77
6.1.2. Setup of the scenario work ...................................................................... 79
6.2. Results................................................................................................................ 86
6.2.1. 6.2.1 Long-term incremental scenarios (2200 horizon) ..................... 86
6.2.2. Backcasting potential actions ................................................................. 87
6.2.3. Hinge points .............................................................................................. 89
6.2.4. Integrated diagram of scenarios ............................................................ 90
6.3. Reflection ........................................................................................................... 91
6.3.1. Methodological reflection ....................................................................... 91
6.3.2. Preliminary assessment of climatic information needs ..................... 94
7. Case study: Kerourien, Brest, France.................................................................... 95
8. Reflection .................................................................................................................. 98
References ...................................................................................................................... 102
Appendices ..................................................................................................................... 105
A.1. Hinge points flyer ............................................................................................... 105
A.2. Dordrecht themes/narratives .......................................................................... 106
A.3. Bergen scenarios and hinge points ................................................................ 109
D2.2. Incremental Scenario Case Studies
Executive summary/summary
We conducted case studies using a novel incremental scenario approach. With
local actors, we co-developed visions of desirable futures, normative scenarios
that might lead towards those futures, and inventoried ‘hinge points’: critical
moments in time where things might lead to a better or worse future. To bridge
the latter, specific information or climate services might be needed. The cases
showed that the new approach could be applied and tailored successfully in a
variety of situations. The novel notion of hinge points allowed us to inventory
critical challenges and ambitions relevant to the local situation: climate-related
as well as key socio-economic, legal, policy/political, and technological ones. It
also resulted an inventory of key information and climate service needs.
Goal/Purpose of the document
Documents the scenario work that has been done in the case study sites:
Dordrecht (NL), Jade Bay (DE), Bergen (NO), Golfe du Morbihan (FR), and
Kerourien/Brest (FR).
Details visions, scenarios and hinge points for each case study site.
Provides first reflections on the (a) methods used for incremental scenario
design, and (b) knowledge needs as they seem apparent from the
Relationship to the Description of Work (DOW)
This report presents the core empirical work by Work Package 2 (Scenario
Design). Each case study site designed local scenarios based on the narratives of
WP1. These scenarios in turn provide further input to WP3 to examine the match
between local needs for climate services and those that are currently available.
D2.2. Incremental Scenario Case Studies
1. Introduction
CoCliServ is about co-producing place-based climate services with local
communities. We developed a bottom-up approach, starting with collecting and
constructing local narratives of change (WP1), and then using local visions and
incremental scenarios (WP2) to explore information needs and services. We
approached scenario-building and coproduction as social processes (Garb, 2008;
Vanderlinden, 2015), and from the standpoint that they generally serve multiple
goals (Bremer et al., 2019). This report details our empirical work on visions &
scenarios, and our lessons learned.
Work Package 2 (WP2) focuses on designing new incremental scenario methods,
and testing these in the case study areas: Dordrecht (NL), Bergen (NO), Jade Bay
(DE), Golfe du Morbihan (FR), and Kerourien/Brest (FR). As methodological guide,
we’ve used the CoCliServ Draft Scenario Protocol (Wardekker et al., 2018). We
built on the initial inventory in Deliverable 2.1 (Wardekker et al., 2019a), which
established ‘situational awareness’: what’s happening on the ground that is
relevant to take into account in the scenario exercises? The purpose of
Deliverable 2.2 is to: (a) codesign practical visions, scenarios, and hinge points for
the local case studies, (b) test the Draft Scenario Protocol (which will be refined
based on our practical experiences), and (c) provide input for WP3 (Local Climate
Information), which will use it to compare the local knowledge needs with the
currently existing climate information and climate services.
The scenario work is ongoing, and involves local transdisciplinary work, aiming to
contribute to local action. Several case study sites increased their ambitions and
will be conducting further workshops and other activities. Other sites needed to
slow down to better match local events and local processes. Consequently, there
is some variation in level of detail between sites. We are aiming to document
follow-up activities in informal reports later on.
D2.2. Incremental Scenario Case Studies
2. Theoretical background and approach
2.1. General theory
CoCliServ develops ‘policy scenarios’, also called normative or prescriptive
scenarios, which describe how the future should preferably evolve (Vervoort et
al., 2014; Dammers et al., 2013a,b; Dammers, 2017). The aim of these is to
describe desired futures and the strategies and actions that could be taken to
reach those. The focus therefore is on placing the community in the driver’s seat:
what do they want to achieve and how can they make it happen? This is different
than ‘environmental scenarios’, also called exploratory or descriptive scenarios,
which describe how the future is likely to evolve. I.e. things that may happen to
the community. Policy scenarios consequently describe two core things: the
desired future(s) that should be reached (visions), and potential paths towards
these (scenarios). Generally, these describe pathways that can be controlled, at
least to some extent; e.g. they describe policy strategies or action plans. The
scenarios in CoCliServ are also ‘incremental’: rather than following a straight line
from present to future, we assume that there might be points or events along
the way that could steer things off course. The developments in our case study
areas might turn into a more desirable or more undesirable direction
(Vanderlinden, 2015; Wardekker et al., 2018). Some of these moments are
controllable by local actors, but many others might be less controllable. This is
the third key thing we will examine in the CoCliServ scenarios. We refer to these
points as ‘hinge points (alternative terms that have been coined during the
project are: ‘branching points’ or ‘critical moments’).
In the Draft Scenario Protocol (Wardekker et al., 2018), we described a five-step
process to co-design the local scenarios:
1. Preparation & scoping
2. Visioning
3. Scenarios & hinge points
D2.2. Incremental Scenario Case Studies
4. Coupling to information & climate service needs
5. Synthesis & dissemination
This deliverable focuses on steps 2 and 3 (visions, scenarios, and hinge points).
Several case studies will also provide some early insights for step 4 (links with
information needs). These feed into the ongoing work of WP3 and WP4
(Gerkensmeier et al., 2018; Meinke et al., 2019, 2020).
2.2. Visioning
In this step, we codesign a clear set of desirable futures, as the community might
see them. If necessary, these can be contrasted with undesirable futures.
However, most attention should be on the desirable ones, as these tend to be
more engaging, positive, and empowering. A ‘desirable future’ is a potential
overall situation that might be achieved it should be ideal, but possible. Note
that this is much broader than a single goal target; it is about the total situation,
likely involving multiple goals and constraints.
Goal of the visioning step is to ask: Given the trends in our region/city/area: what
do we value, what do we see as problems, and what would we really like to achieve?
Given the diversity of actors in our case study communities, we can assume that
there will be multiple answers to that question. In other words, we will need to
develop a set of desirable futures, rather than a single one. These can be
contrasting and exclusive, describing radically different values or desires or
framing of the challenges ahead, or they can be complementary or describing
variants of the same core dreams. How to deal with mutually exclusive visions or
visions that might seem unrealistic, strongly depends on the case study and
methods chosen. E.g., in a workshop setting, different subgroups could develop
scenarios for different (exclusive) scenarios. These can then be discussed to see
how they might affect/compete with each other and whether they might
constitute a hinge point for each other. Another key issue, is to select one or
more appropriate time horizons. The CoCliServ workplan suggests 20 and 50
D2.2. Incremental Scenario Case Studies
year time horizons, but that may not be appropriate to all cases. For instance,
neighbourhood developments happen on much shorter time scales and
residents may have long moved after 20 years. However, climate change does
play on these longer time scales. It is possible to use multiple horizons and
purposefully play with these: take a central horizon that is most relevant to the
community’s needs and contrast that with shorter and longer scales.
The visioning work builds on the narratives developed in WP1 (Krauß et al.,
2018a,b, 2019; Bremer et al., 2020; Krauß, 2020; Marschütz et al., 2020).
2.3. Scenarios and hinge points
The scenario and hinge point development is the core step in WP2. It should be
as interactive as possible, for instance in the form of a workshop or similar event.
The future visions from the previous step set the stage for discussing how to get
there: the scenarios for action. The goal of this step is to make the developments
over the coming years, working towards a desirable future, more concrete and
make them actionable, in order to empower the local community to take steps
towards such a future. In relation to Figure 1, the focus of the scenarios should
be on ‘Things we can control’ (whether climate-related or not). TheThings we can’t
control’ can be used as boundary conditions, where relevant. The scenario work
will likely be a form of ‘backcasting’ (Quist, 2007; Alänge & Holmberg, 2014;
Brunner et al., 2016; Van Bers et al., 2016) or method inspired on that approach.
The specific setup of such scenarios depends on the case study, and in particular
on the specific desirable futures that have been formulated. One example would
be to develop an action plan for climate-proofing a specific neighbourhood (for a
desirable future of a climate-proof city). Other examples might focus more on
how to involve partners and sponsors to enhance community resilience in a city
or region (if the desirable future focuses more on e.g. community cohesion) or
D2.2. Incremental Scenario Case Studies
developing communication and networking approaches (if the vision is more
about enabling the community to make themselves heard in local or regional
The scenario work should by high preference be interactive, for instance a
workshop. Some authors have argued that remote scenario development, e.g.
via internet, is also possible (Hew et al., 2018), but discussion among community
members would seem more appropriate for CoCliServ. Most case studies will
however have relatively little time for developing in-depth strategies and action
plans. We will aim for an approach inspired on back-casting, in a form that allows
for a rapid exploration of potential actions and the timeline for that (e.g. a one-
hour exercise). The aim in the context of CoCliServ is not to use this method as
an easy and accessible tool for a local community, rather than a formalised
policy planning approach (which much of the scenario and back-casting literature
focuses on).
Depending on the case study, this might involve multiple subgroups each
exploring a separate ‘desirable future’. In principle, it would be possible to
explore multiple scenarios for each desirable future: there’s often more than one
way to achieve what you want. We could also develop branching scenarios using
the hinge points, e.g. how to recover from an identified potential setback. Given
the time constraints, however, we will likely need to limit ourselves to one main
scenario per desirable future, unless the community/participants prefer
something else.
Hinge points
The hinge points (or alternatively, ‘branching points’ or ‘critical moments’) are
critical moments in time: junctures in which the developments can lead to/from
a specific desirable future (e.g. Dammers et al., 2013a; Haasnoot et al., 2013;
Vanderlinden, 2015; Wardekker et al., 2018). The core assumption in CoCliServ is
D2.2. Incremental Scenario Case Studies
that these are the moments for which information and tools, such as climate
services, are needed in order to navigate them and prevent the community’s
action plans from crashing. We ask the community: Given the action plan you’ve
developed, what could go wrong in this process? (and when/how/why/etc.?). What
could you do and what would you need to keep on track?
Each vision and scenario provides a storyline of how a community might build a
desirable future; a model of the world and actions that could steer it in the right
direction. Like any model or plan, this involves a number of assumptions, which
can be critically assessed (cf. e.g. Dewar et al., 1993; Kloprogge et al., 2011; De
Jong et al., 2012; Van der Sluijs & Wardekker, 2015). Hinge points are such core
assumptions. They could be specific decision moments, e.g. “in 2030 the inner
city will be redeveloped this can result in either a higher or lower climate-proof
area depending on how it’s done”. It might also be a more gradual event or
trend. They could be issues that we can control (whether the occurrence of the
event or the impact it has) or cannot control. They could be directly or indirectly
climate-related, or not climate-related (but important for the community in of
their vision of a ‘desirable future’). See Table 2.1 for some examples.
Table 1.1. Examples of hinge points.
Things we can contr ol
Things we can’t control
- In 10 years’ time, a new
sewer system will be
constructed. Will it be
sufficiently large to cope
with heavy rain showers?
- The Antarctic ice sheet will
turn out much more
vulnerable and start to melt
rapidly, leading to higher
sea level rise.
Not climate-related
- Social and economic
tensions in our
neighbourho od increase.
- Tensions in the world
impact global economy or
lead to large numbers of
We will explore what a hinge point is. Ideally, we develop an operationalisation
that is easy to grasp by local actors, and evocative enough to give them some
idea of how they could be relevant to their community. Our working definition is:
D2.2. Incremental Scenario Case Studies
“A hinge point is a development that can steer the system/city/region/neighbourhood”
towards either a more desirable future or an undesirable one. They can originate
through choices by the actors in the region (internal; can be influenced) or through
developments from outside (external; can’t be influenced directly/meaningfully). They
can be events (shocks), trends (gradual changes), or combinations of these. They may
be easy to pinpoint in time (e.g. a specific decision deadline) or more difficult (e.g. a
tipping point in the climate system or wildcard/surprise scenario). Likely, a major
choice of options is needed, and information is required to make the right choice.
We will use a categorisation / typology of different types of hinge points, guided
by two core characteristics (see Table 1 & 2): are they climate-related, and are
they controllable by the local community? Further characteristics can be
developed, e.g.: what is the impact, can they be pinpointed in time, are they an
event or trend, et cetera. See Table 2.2. Quite often, the discussion might focus
on negative hinge points, but we can also imagine that there may be positive
hinge points: windows of opportunity that a community could seize.
Table 1.2. Towards a hinge point typology.
Things we can control
Things we can’t control
- Potential im pact
- Graduality of impact
- Can we pinpoint the hinge point in time?
Not climate-related
A leaflet was developed to describe the concept of hinge points to collaborators
and workshop participants. See Appendix A1.
D2.2. Incremental Scenario Case Studies
3. Case study: Dordrecht, the Netherlands
3.1. Case Introduction
3.1.1. Case study situation
Dordrecht is a city of ca. 120.000 inhabitants in the west of the Netherlands, just
east of Rotterdam and close to the sea. It is surrounded by rivers and the sea on
all sides; as locals describe it: “water comes from all directions” (north, east,
south, west, above, below). Consequently, the city is highly sensitive to issues
around weather, water, and climate. It also struggles with socioeconomic issues,
and faces a housing development goal of 10.000-15.000 houses within current
city limits. We’re focusing on the Reeland district of Dordrecht, with a specific
interest in the Vogelbuurt neighbourhood. The area has been affected by
flooding through heavy precipitation evens in recent years. The municipality and
neighbourhood are exploring on how to cope with weather-related issues and
climate change through adaptation, with much local energy and active local
organisations. Furthermore, large scale restructuring and maintenance (e.g.
replacement of social housing estates), sewer replacements, and redesign of
public green spaces and sporting
facilities are planned. This provides
a window of opportunity to
explicitly take citizens’ desires and
climate change concerns into
account when redesigning the area.
3.1.2. Setup of the scenario work
In the previous stages of the project (WP1), we’ve collected local narratives of
change for both Vogelbuurt residents and local, regional and national
policymakers (Marschütz, 2018; Marschuetz & Wardekker, 2018; Wardekker &
Marschütz, 2018; Marschütz et al., 2020). These were thematically clustered into
D2.2. Incremental Scenario Case Studies
three themes that formed the basis of the visioning and scenario development in
1. Close-knit Island Community. This focused on social resilience, taking care
of vulnerable groups, maintaining local identity and community in a
changing neighbourhood and changing climate.
2. Innovative Connections. This focused on the interlinkages between climate
adaptation and other local themes, such as the energy transition
(mitigation), mobility, the local housing challenge, urban renewal, and new
3. Water Safe & Water Wise. This was a more classic view on water safety,
flooding, heavy precipitation, and the impacts and options for the area.
However, it also posited that the Dordrecht people had experience in
living with water, and could approach water-related challenges from a
positive perspective.
We organised a six-hour workshop in the Spuilab Dordrecht Living Lab on 3
October 2019, gathering twelve participants (4 residents, 4 policymakers, 4
researchers). The goal was to exchange views and knowledge between these
three actor groups and design visions, scenarios and hinge points for a ‘resilient
Vogelbuurt neighbourhood in a changing climate’. These would then provide
some early inputs for the neighbourhood adaptation plans that the Municipality
is developing. The workshop was a collaboration between Utrecht University,
Studio Lakmoes, CAS Climate Adaptation Services, KNMI Netherlands
Meteorological Institute, and the Municipality of Dordrecht. A full workshop
report is available in Dutch: Wardekker et al. (2019b).
The workshop started with a round of introductions and several short
presentations highlighting the goal of the meeting (UU), adaptation work in
Dordrecht (Municipality), climate change (KNMI), and the results of the narrative
research and themes (UU). Participants were split into two subgroups, each
tackling one of the themes. We used two themes during the workshop in order
to have a good subgroup size: Close-knit Island Community and Innovative
Connections. Each group then discussed: what might weather, water, and climate
change mean for the Vogelbuurt and the theme? Two digital tools were designed
D2.2. Incremental Scenario Case Studies
to support this. KNMI developed an Excel tool based on local times series of
climate data (stations close to Dordrecht) where participants could tailor various
climate metrics to their own needs (based on KNMI, 2014, 2019a,b). CAS
developed a map tool based on the Climate Impact Atlas (Klimaateffectatlas,
2019) that showed a satellite / bird’s eye view of the Vogelbuurt and allowed
participants to project maps of elevation, risk of local flooding, heat stress,
ground subsidence, and rotting of wooden foundation piles. Participants were
then provided with wall-mounted designs of a ‘typical street’ that already
included some hints related to the related theme, various cut-and-paste
materials (pictures of trees, people, buildings; images from the internet; photos
from Vogelbuurt and surroundings, etc.), scissors, tape, pens, and post-its. They
also received a hand-out with a short description of the theme and supporting
quotes from the narrative interviews. They were asked to (a) cut-and-paste and
draw their ideal neighbourhood (related to the theme), (b) to convert these
creative contributions to concrete measures and write them on yellow post-its,
(c) to score the measures on whether they were ‘essential’ or ‘not essential’
(need-to-have versus nice-to-have) and ‘short term’ or ‘long term’, indicating this
on the post-its with coloured stickers.
D2.2. Incremental Scenario Case Studies
Figure 3.1. Screenshots of the tools developed for the workshop: (a) KNMI Excel-based tool, (b) CAS GIS-based tool.
During the afternoon, each subgroup presented their visions and measures,
allowing for questions to be asked. Returning to the sub-groups, participants
placed the post-its with measures on a large wall-mounted timeline running from
‘present’ to 2050 and pre-divided into short, medium and long term. They were
asked to cluster and connect measures that were similar in nature, and to draw
an arrow that connected such groups into storylines that described a sequential
series of options along a similar line (i.e. scenarios within their overarching
theme). Following this exercise, participants were asked to brainstorm on hinge
points. Literally, we referred to these as ‘critical moments’ where things could go
wrong or where one might be able to make use of new opportunities that
presented themselves (windows of opportunity). They were provided with a
hand-out explaining the concept (see Appendix A2) and the discussion was
guided by a series of questions. Hinge points were indicated on the timeline with
red post-its. Finally, each group discussed what information might be useful to
make sure these hinge points could be navigated successfully.
The day was closed with each group presenting their work, room for questions,
and a discussion on the results and on the methods.
D2.2. Incremental Scenario Case Studies
3.2. Results
3.2.1. Theme 1: Close-knit Island Community
The current residents of the Vogelbuurt neighbourhood are a mix of labour
migrants and ‘original’ residents. There is mostly social housing, but in the
ongoing urban renewal, new housing is more mixed. These newer houses are
not always affordable to local residents, although social housing only is also not
good for the neighbourhood. Residents hope that the composition of the
Vogelbuurt won’t change too much and particularly that ‘shifting people around
will be avoided. There are issues with waste in the streets, and residents suggest
that the municipality should invest more in improving the quality of the
neighbourhood, having conversations with locals, and building support and
trust. Building a stronger sense of community is seen as key. More green spaces
are important for both reducing heat stress and as social meeting spaces.
Sufficient parking space is also important. Residents already visit elderly, but the
limits of participation have been reached.
D2.2. Incremental Scenario Case Studies
Various options are discussed, from small to large scale. A shorter work week
could allow people to spend more time to contribute to the neighbourhood. De-
separating local budgets could make funding more flexible. A neighbourhood
janitor is seen by both residents and policymakers as an interesting option. Such
a ‘professional resident’ could be a central figure in the Vogelbuurt, taking care of
urgent tasks, spotting issues, and facilitating people in getting more involved in
the neighbourhood. This option does require a certain level of mutual trust.
There are also many ideas on greening the Vogelbuurt, but this should be done
in a step-wise fashion in order to maintain resident support. An awareness
campaign would be useful, showing photos of Vogelbuurt streets with and
without trees and corresponding temperatures. The neighbourhood’s central
square and school are interesting options to tackle first. Greening of these areas
would reduce heat stress, make them more attractive and re-establish them as
central meeting places, build trust, and showcase the benefits of green space for
the rest of the neighbourhood. Offering residents help with greening, e.g. by
giving them plants or trees or funding, is also interesting. Participatory
management of green space currently won’t work. Other suggested options dealt
with changing house plot layouts (larger front door gardens for people to sit in
and interact), below ground parking, car sharing, permeable parking spaces, and
a small scale ‘sustainability factory’ producing biofuel.
Figure 3.2. Vision for Dordrecht Vogelbuurt 'Close-knit Island Community'.
D2.2. Incremental Scenario Case Studies
The options were evaluated on essentiality and timing, and placed on the
timeline. Several storylines became visible. One involved neighbourhood
management by removing barriers between smaller budgets, investing in basic
neighbourhood quality and neighbourhood janitor, eventually leading to a
‘neighbourhood budget’ (medium term) and participatory management of green
spaces (long term). Similar lines evolved around co-management and sharing of
public space, green spaces, cars, et cetera. However, these first required trust-
building and creation of a stronger sense of community in the neighbourhood. A
‘green storyline’ detailed short term options such as planting some trees and
awareness campaigns, to more medium term tasks such as greening the central
square and other parts of the Vogelbuurt.
Figure 3.3. Scenarios and hinge points for Dordrecht Vogelbuurt 'Close-knit Island Community'.
Hinge points
Most hinge points were found at the short and medium term. A short term one
was public roadworks, for example for sewer renewal that will soon get started.
This is a moment where you could create some space and quiet for kids to play
and for people to experience the benefits of less cars in the neighbourhood.
Another financial crisis and further robotization of the labour market would result
in less work being available, but also perhaps giving people more time for
D2.2. Incremental Scenario Case Studies
participation and community work in the neighbourhood. A further growth of the
sharing economy could increase options such as car sharing, central points for
package deliveries, and similar. In many parts of the Vogelbuurt, old houses will
be demolished, providing an opportunity to tackle multiple options and
challenges at once. Within several years, the local sport facilities become multi-
functional/multi-use, allowing for social activities and sharing initiatives. National
policy trends such as increasing energy tariffs and prices, and decoupling housing
from the public natural gas network, could force cities and neighbourhoods to
hasten the shift to sustainable energy, which in turn might lead to more support
for local energy initiatives. Increasing population aging is mentioned as a potential
risk, reducing the ability of residents to take care of their gardens. Another risk is
formed by climate change-related invasive species (in connection with gardens,
green spaces), which might impact public health, potentially reducing support for
greening options.
Several long term hinge points are discussed, but participants find these more
difficult. More frequent extreme weather events, such as very hot summers resulting
in many deaths, might hasten greening measures. Extreme rainfall events might
impact sewer design and other water storage and discharge options. A
policymaker also suggests that increasing digitalization and robotization (e.g. new
means of transport, 3D printing) might lead to alternatives for car use, which
would make the proposed underground parking garage a bad investment.
Furthermore, a crash of the internet and the emergence of new international powers
(e.g. China) could impact the democratic state in Europe, with possibly both
negative (reduced democracy) and positive (more attention to the
neighbourhood level) local impact. A dike breach is also mentioned as long term
hinge point, but residents and policymakers have very different views on the
chances and potential timing (e.g. residents saw this as possibility before 2050,
policymakers did not).
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3.2.2. Theme 2: Innovative Connections
Participants discuss the geography of the Vogelbuurt using the CAS tools; the
maps and the issues they show are very recognizable: some blocks with older
buildings that experience subsidence and have wooden foundation piles, and
several streets with very low-lying gardens that experience issues with flooding.
Residents, policymakers and researchers discuss what ‘innovative connections’
might mean. They conclude that this is about many things: interlinking issues,
but also about connecting people, technologies, ideas, etc. About multi-
functional choices and directions, working in an integral way, improving
collaboration, clearly dividing responsibilities, and using technology for
monitoring problems and for connecting people.
Local freshwater storage on rooftops (show in the starting design above) might
be an option but only for peak demand or watering gardens. There are football
fields at the edges of the Vogelbuurt that could be used for water buffering
during heavy rain. At the moment, there are few green spaces and green
options; residents have little time and interest in maintaining them. In the future,
more might be possible. E.g. the Vogelnest (neighbourhood centre ran by local
social entrepreneurs and volunteers) could adopt gardens or trees. Shared use
and sharing of produce in a neighbourhood vegetable garden might also help
build mutual trust between residents, along with reducing heat stress and
increasing permeability of the soil to rainwater. Rooftops might function as green
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space, community gardens, or heat collectors (warming water through sunlight).
Residents suggest reducing space allotted to cars and implementing one-way
traffic, to make space for other uses, for instance, gardens. Dordrecht is also
working on making connections with climate mitigation issues, for example
through heat networks and collecting heat from surface water.
Much discussion is devoted to technological options, such as smart systems,
collecting local data, measuring flooding and similar issues through sensors in
streets, streetlights, cars and buildings. Participants brainstorm on ideas for apps
that could exchange data and provide social connections or resident-municipality
connections. Dordrecht already uses a municipal app through which residents
can report problems (loose street tiles, broken streetlights, etc.). Water problems
and heat could be added. Neighbourhood or community apps and social media
might provide options as well. Social challenges are also a prominent point.
Vogelnest already functions as a social facility and contact point in the
neighbourhood, connecting residents and could help out with communication,
community work, or data collection. It can (and does) also provide an easy
connection between residents and municipality.
Economic options seem less of a promising or important option. One suggestion
is to hire someone to manage or facilitate several of the options suggested above,
such as green spaces, community gardens, placing solar panels and maintaining
these. This mirrored the discussion on a neighbourhood janitor in the other
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Figure 3.4. Vision for Dordrecht Vogelbuurt 'Innovative Connections'.
Participants note that it is important to combine measures, such as through
multi-functional use of space. Establishing or increasing integral ways of working
and creating overarching (multi-purpose/topic) plans is important. In the short
term, it is key to make those plans well, because this forms the basis that will
either promote or hinder making innovative connections in the practical options
and implementation. This includes a good management plan for the Vogelbuurt.
Some options are dependent on others, e.g. whether we need to raise the
elevation of houses depends on city-level and higher measures to keep water
out of the city. Residents describe one-way traffic as very important; other traffic
and transport options are less urgent.
Many key options are at the short term, several options at medium term, and
few at long term. Especially a group of options related to making integral plans
was listed as ‘should be done now’. Three scenarios (storylines, routes) were
observed: making & executing integral plans, carefully placing and dividing
responsibilities within the municipality and neighbourhood, and data &
technology (apps, sensors, smart tech).
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Figure 3.5. Scenarios and hinge points for Dordrecht Vogelbuurt 'Innovative Connections'.
Hinge points
The design of integral city and neighbourhood plans themselves form key hinge
points. It is essential that it is clearly established and detailed within city and
neighbourhood plans how this integral approach should take place. This makes it
less sensitive to changes in the political mood over the years. Participants
wonder if integral ways of working also increase public support for these plans.
Similarly, establishing how the plans account for potential surprises and how
surprises might be managed is important. For successful plans, potential changes
in EU and Dutch laws, regulations and subsidies is crucial. These determine to what
extent it will be possible (and allowed) to work in an integral way, how you can
stimulate or enforce this, and what the boundary conditions will be.
Potential changes in demography are important for the housing challenge are
important for housing challenges, though participants see major demographic
changes as unlikely. Major urban renewal (demolishing and rebuilding of social
housing) is currently taking place. Dordrecht also faces a housing task of building
10,000-15,000 new houses within current city limits between now-2030. Economic
changes, such as economic crises, economic prosperity, and the emergence of new
economic concepts such as the sharing economy are important for how well the
plans might be implemented and by stimulating collaboration between the
municipality and the neighbourhood. In general, collaboration (and successes and
failures of this) is important for implementation of integral plans and division of
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responsibilities. Moments of interaction between the municipality and
neighbourhood and moments when the connection of the plans with the
neighbourhood needs to be realized are critical moments. If the plans don’t
account for what residents want and need, local support will fail.
Large scale processes such as accelerated sea level rise, determine whether the
integral plans will turn out achievable and sufficient. Changes in the economic or
political tide also impact availability of funding for measures and implementation
of the plans. Shifts in societal acceptation of risks can and do take place.
There are also many positive hinge points. For example, ‘small disasters’ and
disruptions might provide a window of opportunity to accelerate action on
adaptation, mitigation, collaboration, and other practical work. An example is a
new oil crisis, which might accelerate the switch to renewables.
For all data and technology-related options, privacy is a key concern. Changes in
public attitude towards privacy, and changes in privacy laws strongly impact what
can be done with technology and what people what to do with it. These are
currently already changing rapidly. Similarly, other societal debates on technology,
as well as biases in technology and data analysis (e.g. discrimination embedded in
algorithms) could impact the use of technology and data. The emergence of
Artificial Intelligence can similarly impact this.
3.3. Reflection
3.3.1. Methodological reflection
The creative exercise, ‘cutting and pasting’ the future vision of the Vogelbuurt
streets, was well received by participants. While they needed some time to get
into the exercise, and the moderators had to lead and tease out the ideas at first,
all participants could and did contribute. Participants quite appreciated that the
visioning exercise was already quite concrete (compared to visions that are just
vague notions or outlines of what the distant future might look like) and that we
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moved to practical options fairly quickly. Participants also liked the interaction
between residents, policymakers and researchers. All groups felt that they
learned much from this interaction. The two new tools were also appreciated.
Policymakers appreciated the KNMI tool, which provided information in a format
that they had long been looking for. Residents appreciated the CAS tool, which
showcased climate vulnerability information in a very recognizable way.
Discussions using the tools immediately linked to things people experienced in
the neighbourhood or knowledge that they had regarding the houses, gardens,
or residents at locations that were indicated as vulnerable to a particular impact.
Participants understood what we asked from them during each step of the
workshop, and the process and explanations were clear. The logic behind the
steps was clear. Participants indicated that they managed to do a lot of work in
the time they had. They had diverging opinions on what was the most difficult
step (most often mentioned: visualising the future vision, and assigning hinge
points), and what was the most useful step. They all agreed that this type of
workshop helped to start a conversation between different actors and facilitated
residents to think about the future of their neighbourhood.
One challenge was assigning actual years to measures and hinge points. While
the process of placing measures on the timeline was fast, it quite often led to
further discussion on exact years. The options and views also ranged from very
concrete to more rough plans or proposals. The latter needed further details to
place in a specific year. Many measures were labelled as ‘medium term’, but
dated well before 2030 (our interpretation of medium). This could simply be a
difference in opinion on what constitutes medium term. However, several
options were shifted around between short, medium, long term after redefining
what they would entail. The exercise did provide sufficient room for those
discussions. Most measures could be placed at intervals of 5 or 10 years.
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The hinge point exercise also went very smoothly. After some examples, people
understood what they involved and could brainstorm on hinge points for their
plans and the neighbourhood in general. In both groups, many (but not all) hinge
points related to large scale processes, at national, EU or global level. These
cannot be influenced locally, but one can prepare for them. Many local hinge
points seem to be short term, related to short term options and developments.
In the long term, large scale processes and events were dominant. One could
speculate on the reasons (e.g. short term more easy to imagine locally, whereas
large scale external events and processes are more imaginable in the distant
future?). However, one might also argue that there are important local hinge
points at the short-medium-long term that relate to these large scale processes.
For example, if shifts in privacy laws and public attitude to privacy (Innovative
Connections) is an external hinge point, an internal hinge point would be the
design stage and actual implementation of the local smart-tech options and
whether those designs are very privacy-sensitive or not. In other words, local and
non-local hinge points can be interrelated. It is also possible that it will be easier
to spot local hinge points when a more defined plan has been developed. The
exact form and implementation of the measures is not yet clear. These matter to
how and when things might go wrong. Both groups found hinge points in all four
quadrants of our matrix (local/not-local and climate/non-climate hinge points).
Also noteworthy was that both groups managed to inventory negative as well as
positive hinge points (windows of opportunity). Participants appreciated that we
also looked at such instances where you can make use of new opportunities that
present themselves. It was also quite easy to link the hinge point exercise with a
brainstorm on potential information needs. Participants easily grasped the
connection between the two, and developed a portfolio of needs (see below).
During the final discussion, participants noted that the time duration of such a
workshop was quite a challenge. The approach taken by the Dutch team was to
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involve many people in the narrative interviews (WP1), and then build on this
material with a smaller group during the workshop (WP2). The smaller group and
long duration (6 hours) meant that focused, in-depth discussion and interaction
was possible, but also that fewer people were able to participate. Other options
might be to split it up into multiple shorter sessions (downside is that the
participants almost certainly differ between sessions, reducing consistency,
overview, and sense of ownership), or complementing it with a shorter follow-up
session on concrete situations in the neighbourhood. Studio Lakmoes has since
designed a setup for a ‘flash workshop’ (ca. 1 hour) that could be attached to a
local event to involve a large group of residents. It focuses mainly on
brainstorming options/measures that could be taken. We are looking into
options to run such a session. Another potential reason for relatively low
participation of residents was that there is much distrust in the neighbourhood
in ‘the system’ (i.e. government), as well as many more challenging problems (e.g.
unemployment), meaning that the average resident is unlikely to cooperate in a
process such as this. Participating residents were all connected to the Vogelnest
neighbourhood centre. For such an ‘intermediary’ between government and
neighbourhood, a scenario workshop worked well. There is clearly a trade-off
between the ability to run an in-depth transdisciplinary session (which takes time
to discuss things properly), especially on more challenging notions such as hinge
points, and the ability to involve large numbers of people from the community.
In the end, residents did feel that they learned much from the interactions
(between residents, policymakers, researchers), were working on the
neighbourhood, and could actively shape local adaptation plans and have impact
on policy through this workshop. However, some aspects could benefit from
more participants, such as the option scan or further reflection on where certain
options might result in problems or run into obstacles in the neighbourhood.
Follow-up work will be beneficial. When the CoCliServ Incremental Scenario
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Approach will be applied in later projects, e.g. by scientists, consultants, or
municipalities, it will also be useful to reflect on what steps might be possible to
do through desktop research or workshop with the program team, and which
parts would benefit most from participation (in what form, with what
level/numbers) of specific groups within the community.
3.3.2. Knowledge needs
Participants noted that much information on climate change in the Netherlands
is available (e.g. Van Minnen et al., 2013; KNMI, 2014, 2019a,b; Klimaateffectatlas,
2019). However, other needs for knowledge and climate services might be
present. For each theme, participants reflected on potential knowledge needs.
For ‘Close-knit Island Community’, residents requested visualisations of the neigh-
bourhood that showed climate change impacts and made these more tangible to
local residents. For instance, images of streets in the area with and without trees
and the impact of that on local temperatures (cf. urban heat islands, heat waves).
Communication should not focus only on ‘doom stories’, but be used primarily to
create support for potential options: ‘we’re improving the neighbourhood, these
are our plans’. Visuals of situations where no action is taken also help.
Information on future energy prices is important to show the impact of
sustainability measures and the cost of not improving energy efficiency.
According to participants, this could highlight that the future energy bill might be
higher than the rent. Future price estimates of hot summers, invasive species
and dike breaches could also be useful.
Information on invasive species (plants, animals; e.g. oak processionary
caterpillar, highly allergenic plants, etc.) is useful for people planning what to
plant in their gardens. Which garden options worsen the situation and are better
avoided, and which improve local biodiversity?
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For ‘Innovative Connections’, participants indicated that a very important need is
on information on political trends, social trends, and legal issues. Examples were
given on changes regarding energy, water, privacy, and technology (sensors, data
analysis, smart applications, artificial intelligence). How might these broader
legal-political changes impact our plans for adaptation? Information on the
(potential) political and social sensitivity of options is also important.
A second group of needs deals with information that helps the Municipality and
neighbourhood prepare for disasters and surprises. For example, probability and
risk estimates of flood events and related scenarios (e.g. failure of the Maeslant
storm flood barrier in Rotterdam, which impacts Dordrecht). Similarly, more
information is needed on the potential impacts of certain types of disasters,
disruptions, and incidents on the neighbourhood and city scales. For example,
specific local vulnerabilities and vulnerable locations in a neighbourhood. Insight
into the impact of options would also be needed. It is also important to have
information on ‘small disasters’ available. Relatively small disruptive events can
be a window of opportunity to discuss the future situation and potential options.
In that case, information on how such events will change in the future
(frequencies, probabilities, impacts) and what might be done to what effect,
should be at hand so that it can be used in information and communication.
Important questions for the residents and policymakers where: how sensitive is
the Vogelbuurt to water-related issues (now and in the future)? What do people
find acceptable and what not (info on acceptation and perception of risks (but
also of options))? E.g. how long should streets be allowed to remain flooded?
Local wishes, desires, and acceptation of specific risks and options are an
important information need. These can also change strongly over time, and also
depend on whether people know how to deal with such impacts (e.g. if people
know what to do in case of flooding, flood risk acceptation may be higher).
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4. Case Study: Jade Bay, Germany
4.1. Case introduction
From the beginning, the Jade Bay case study followed an open approach. During
a one-year field work (cf. Krauß, 2020), I tried to figure out where CoCliServ might
fit in, what the needs of the local population are and what kind of scenario
exercises might fit best to co-produce new forms of place-based climate services
for action. There is already a lively infrastructure of civic activities, but there was
no obvious entry point for bringing in scenario exercises. This changed when I
attended a workshop in Wilhelmshaven, which was organized by a regional
cultural organization. The question asked was how the coastal population
imagines the future of the Jade Bay area in the year 2050. In this workshop I
learned that there is a public demand for an arena where citizens concerned
about climate change can express their opinions and find new ways to make
their matters of concern part of the democratic process. Together with the North
German coastal and climate office (WP3), we organized a similar workshop in the
coastal village of Dangast, where we asked people to imagine how a climate
friendly coastal area might look like in the year 2030. While we failed to organize
a follow-up workshop in Dangast, I was invited by a regional NGO to participate
in the organization of a workshop in Westerstede, following the same concept
which we had developed for Dangast. Here, we asked similar questions, but with
a follow-up workshop in mind and the intention to integrate local visions into
municipal and regional politics. In the following, I will introduce into the Jade Bay
area and describe in detail the setting, preparation and realization of the three
workshops. In the second part I will present some of the results and hinge points
and add some concluding thoughts in the last part.
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4.1.1. Case study situation
The Jade Bay (Jadebusen) is situated in Northern Germany, in Lower Saxony,
between the deltas of the rivers Weser and Ems and the port cities of
Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven. The case study and respective scenario
exercise of WP1 cover the districts of Wesermarsch and Friesland, as well as the
neighbouring districts of Wittmund and Ammerland. This coastal landscape is
the result of the interaction between the sea and human land reclamation during
centuries. The Jade Bay is contained by an uninterrupted line of dikes, as is the
rest of the coast. The coast is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change;
as a response to sea level rise, the dikes are elevated to make them climate
proof until the mid or end of the century. The flat land behind the dikes, which
had been flooded by severe storm floods between the 12th and 18th century, is a
drainage area. Due to centuries of land use, it is getting more and more difficult
to get the water off the land and into the sea. Main industries are energy
production (mostly wind energy, biogas, photovoltaic, coal plants in
Wilhelmshaven), industries, and agriculture. The wet winter of 2017 / 2018 and
the dry summer of 2018 imposed major challenges for the infrastructures; in
winter, farmers had difficulties to get the manure onto the fields, and during the
dry summer, pastures went brown and cattle had to be sold. Both weather
extremes were interpreted as effects of climate change.
My research is focused on local perceptions of climate change, its effects and on
the measures taken to face this challenge. I followed the traces of climate change
in local politics, in administrations, in dike protection associations, in agriculture,
tourism, spatial planning and in everyday life. Climate change is omnipresent in
daily talk, manifested in form of the energy transition (wind turbines etc), and
increasingly as a topic in local and regional politics, administration and civic
activities. For example, regional and municipal climate managers are established
(which is a contested issue in municipalities such as Varel); there is a shift from
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nature to climate change in some established nature conservation NGOs such as
the Nabu or BUND; climate activities are initiated by Agenda groups (a concept
originating from the Rio summit in 1992); and there is a citizens’ initiative in the
tourist zone of Dangast and so on.
My interlocutors in the diverse fields of coastal society showed great interest in
CoCliServ. As a consequence, I participated as an observer in ongoing activities
and slowly developed activities of my own to establish a new form of public
debate about climate change as suggested by CoCliServ.
4.1.2. Preparation, setting and realization of scenario activities
In the past year and a half, I actively participated in and / or organized three
different workshops including scenario exercises about climate change and the
future of the coastal Jade Bay area:
1. on November 30th 2018, I participated actively in a workshop about
climate change in the Oldenburg Jade Bay area in Wilhelmshaven,
organized by the Oldenburgische Landschaft, a regional cultural
2. in May 2019, I organized together with my colleagues from Helmholtz, Insa
Meinke and Birigt Gerksenmaier, a workshop about “Global challenges
local answers” in the coastal village of Dangast, and
3. on December 6th 2019, I organized in the municipal town of Westerstede
the first of a two - or more step workshop together with activists of the
NGO BUND Ammerland (a regional branch of the largest nature
conservation association of Germany).
The three workshops represent an incremental process which originates from
my presence in the area and from my own initiative, together with Helmholtz in
the second and the NGO BUND in the third workshop. Furthermore, each of the
workshops was based on the experience of the previous one. This incremental
process is maybe the main experience of these experiments of co-production; it
is not finished yet, there will be at least one or more follow-ups to the last
workshop in Westerstede.
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Workshop 1: “The Oldenburg landscape in the year 2050 Climate change”
The Oldenburgische Landschaft is a cultural organization which was founded in
1961. It is a reminiscence to the previous existence of the Oldenburger Land,
which once was a political unit until 1946. Today, it covers among others the
districts of Wesermarsch, Friesland and Ammerland. In December 2018, the
Oldenburgische Landschaft organized a public workshop with the title “The
Oldenburger Land in the year 2050 climate change”.
In the invitation, the organizers called into mind a spectacular idea from the
beginning of the 20th century: what might happen when the mouth of the Jade
Bay were closed by a dam and the Jade Bay would run dry completely? It could
be turned into a place for sport activities or for a futuristic expansion of the city
of Oldenburg, for example (see invitation letter below).
The workshop asked about today’s visions, about how climate change will
change the landscape and, consequently, our development. The main questions
How do we want to live in future? How will the Oldenburger Land look like?
Which developments will shape our future? The main areas to be addressed
were coastal protection, spatial planning and water management.
The workshop was organized as follows:
First, there were four invited speakers: the head of the administration for water
management, coastal and nature protection; a biologist from the Carl von
Ossietzky University Oldenburg, a spatial planner from the administration for
regional development, and the director of the National Park and UNESCO world
heritage Lower Saxony Wadden Sea.
After their presentations, the audience of about 45 people were split into two
discussion groups, where the future of the Oldenburgische Land was discussed;
main ideas were written on yellow cards. Each group had a moderator who
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pinned the cards on a whiteboard with the and presented the results of the
discussion to the plenary.
The workshop was attended by about 45 persons, among them representatives
of regional and local cultural organizations and NGOs, as well as interested
citizens. The discussions were very lively; in the group that I participated in, the
moderator strongly structured the debate and prevented people from talking
too much about their specific points of interest. Several weeks after the
workshop, the organizer, the Oldenburgische Landschaft, sent a short summary
of the event to the participants.
Figure 4.1. Invitation to the Oldenburgische Landschaft meeting.
Workshop 2 “Climate Change at the Jade Bay global challenge, local answers”
Based on the experience and the structure of the Wilhelmshaven workshop, on
May 16th 2019, I organized together with the “North German coastal and climate
office” (WP3, Birgit Gerkensmeier and Insa Meinke), a workshop with the title
“Climate change at the Jade Bay global challenge, local answers”. The Climate
Office invited some of the administrators and (potential) climates of their service,
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and I invited people that I had interviewed in the course of my field work. In the
end, about 30 people showed up, among them two mayors, a pastor, spatial
planners, administrators, farmers, members of NGOs and a citizen initiative, the
National Park director and the tourist manager of Dangast, and other interested
The event was split into two parts. In the first part, I introduced CoCliServ and
our intention to bring together scientific and local climate knowledge to produce
place-based climate services for action. Insa Meinke introduced in her
presentation into the scientific basics of global climate change and presented in
the following the already measured and anticipated effects of climate change for
the region. This presentation was followed by a lively discussion, where people
expressed their concerns from their respective perspectives.
In the intermission, participants were invited to discuss the tools of the North
German climate office.
The second part consisted of a structured discussion. We provided the following
task: “Imagine we live in the year 2030, and the Jade Bay region has
accomplished the reduction of 50% of carbon emissions and other climate goals.
How did we achieve this?”
The discussion was structured in four parts, following a 1-2-4 model: (1) each
participant takes notes by him- or herself; (2) each participant chooses a partner
to discuss the ideas as a pair; (4) each pair chose another one to discuss their
ideas, to write the results down and to presented the results to the plenary.
This exercise was followed by a final discussion. Each part lasted more or less
two hours, including a break of half an hour. Even though we had promised to
send a documentary to the audience, we as organizers failed to do so, and this
workshop had no follow-up.
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Figure 4.2. Invitation letter to the Dangast meeting.
Workshop 3 “Climate change in the Ammerland what can we do?
After the Dangast workshop, a participant, Susanne Grube, the head of the NGO
BUND Ammerland, invited me to co-organize another workshop in Westerstede,
in the district of Ammerland (which is neighbouring the district of Friesland). The
Dangast workshop served as a role model for this follow-up workshop in a
different setting. Susanne Grube announced the workshop publicly during her
speech as an activist at the occasion of the FridaysforFuture demonstration in
Oldenburg. The BUND Ammerland provided the location in Westerstede and
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organized the invitations. On the 20th of September, about 60 people attended
the workshop. We also had asked Insa Meinke from the “North German coastal
and climate office” to present again on this workshop, but she was not available.
In the first part, I introduced into the workshop with a short contribution entitled
“Climate protection needs climate democracy”, followed by a ppt presentation by
Susanne Grube about global climate change and its effects in the North Sea area
of Lower Saxony, on a scientific basis.
In the second part, we followed the script of the Dangast workshop, except that
we provided seven different themes: energy, mobility, nutrition, health, land use,
water and habitation. After taking notes individually and discussing them with
another person, people chose one of the topics. Across the room, we had
prepared whiteboards and yellow cards; each one with a moderator from the
organizing team. Participants had 20 minutes time, after that they could switch
to another topic for 20 minutes. In the end, the moderators presented the
results to the plenary.
Different to the previous workshops, there was no final discussion of the topics.
Instead, we discussed how to proceed to the next step: we decided that the
moderators will work out the results from the respective themes, with the help
of interested participants, in order to make them presentable to the
administration and local politics. In a follow-up workshop in January or February,
representatives of both institutions will be invited to discuss the results. The
intention is to establish an arena to complement
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4.2. Results
4.2.1. Scenario exercise: Wilhelmshaven
The audience was split into two large groups. Discussion time: 40 minutes. The
questions for discussion were:The Oldenburger Land in 2050: Which
developments do we want to influence / support most? How do we want to live
in future?
The results of the two working groups were presented by the respective
mediators of the groups and written on a blackboard, based on the yellow cards
that were filled in by the participants. For the purpose of this deliverable, I list the
results along the CoCliServ / WP2 terminology. The identification of hinge points
results from my summary of a heated discussion in the working group in which I
participated. The real crash- or hinge point is the working or better: non-
functionality and impenetrability of politics on all levels, including the municipal
and district level. Another argument that stuck with me was the factor of regional
identity: we do not do it that way in Friesia, we did not learn it this way (in
respect to more defensive ways to deal with the interaction of sea, land and
Things we can control Things we cannot control
Climate related
Climate adapted spatial
Intelligent water
management / reservoirs
Re-sealing of soil /
Climate friendly
Reduction of energy
Holistic thinking
Becoming climate neutral
Becoming renewable
energy production hot spot
Sea level rise
Extreme weather events
2-degree goal
Coal plant Wilhelmshaven
Not climate related
Conservation of cultural
International networking
Regional production/
Groundwater salinity
EU policy / Agrarian
Lowering of ground level
(below sea level)
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Consuming of food
Clean grou ndwater
Hinge points
Regional decision processes
Political p ath depen dency / routine
Regional democracy
Elections / interests
Changing attitude towards coastal
protection / land
Regional identity, traditional ways to
manage land
4.2.2. Scenario exercise: Dangast workshop
Along the 1-2-4 method, the audience of 30+ people was split into five discussion
groups. The results were written on cards and presented by a member of the
group to the plenary. The guiding assumption was that we are in the year 2030,
and that the Jade Bay region has achieved all climate goals, including 50%
reduction of emissions (the official German climate goal). The question to discuss
was: How did we achieve this goal? What did we do right?
In the following, I list some exemplary answers in English from the second group
which listed the results under 6 different topics.
Consuma tion
No Autobahn;
Transport on
Bicycle lanes
Less manure;
No emissions;
10% biotopes;
Renewal of
and education
Lawn / green
instead of
Quality over
Longevity of
Arrival of
Soft event
In total, the results of all groups do not differ too much from the Wilhemshaven
results. Here an overview in German language (provided by Birgit Gerkensmeier):
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Hinge points
The question of hinge points was prominent on a meta-level, among the
organizers. The “North German coastal and climate office” was interested in the
mutual knowledge gaps between science and the participants concerning
(regional) climate change. In the actual discussion, participants permanently
mixed climate related and not climate related issues. For the Climate Office, the
hinge point was the difference between climate related and not climate related
issues, as illustrated here from the perspective of climate science:
Things we cannot control
Things we can control
Climate related
Weather, climate, storms, floods,
energy etc…
Not climate related
Biodiversity, bees, organic
agriculture, bicycle lanes, tourism,
repair products, etc
“Things we can / cannot control” in the table above refers to WP3 and “the North
German coastal and climate office”. WP3 focused on the knowledge gaps and
local climate knowledge, while WP1 is generally interested in local statements,
independently of the scientific definition of climate change. Thus, WP1 follows
the political, social, economic or cultural dynamic of the statements of local
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actors, their opinions and concerns when they talk about climate change. From
the Dangast workshop resulted a follow-up workshop, in a different setting and
different local actors, but based on the Dangast methodology and experience,
with the focus increasingly on questions of climate protection and climate
4.2.3. Scenario exercise: Westerstede workshop
The Westerstede workshop resulted from a co-operation with the head of the
NGO BUND Ammerland, Susanne Grube, who had participated in the Dangast
workshop. As an activist with long experience in the politics of the Jade Bay area,
she was enthused by our concept to organise a public meeting. At the
FridaysforFuture demonstration in Oldenburg in October she publicly
announced a climate market / workshop in Westerstede, and she asked me if we
want to participate and help to organize the workshop.
This workshop is intended as part of a longer process. The first workshop, which
was held in November, served to collect ideas. The next workshop will be staged
in January or February, with the participation of regional politicians and
administrators, in order to discuss the results of the first workshop and to make
more intense scenario exercises about how to put the ideas into practice or to
incorporate them into the municipal agenda in some way. In the meantime, we
started to analyze the results from the first workshop.
We structured the scenario exercise along seven topics, which were nutrition,
health, land use, energy, water and habitation / construction.
The main question was: How does a climate friendly Ammerland look like in
In a separate meeting after the workshop, the group of organisers evaluated and
grouped the yellow cards along common topics. A group of participants will work
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out how these intermediary results are best presented to the public and at the
next workshop. Other working groups will be formed, too.
After the workshop, we listed the cards on each of these tables under common
headings; this interpretative process will be refined in a meeting on December
6th in Westerstede among the organizers (see an example next page, in English
We already sent a feedback letter to all the participants, and the BUND
Ammerland will keep people updated via their website.
It is important to note that the participation of artec / University of Bremen and
CoCliServ adds some sort of objectivity and authority to these scenario
workshops; even though the BUND has a good reputation in this area, they
follow a narrower agenda. Discussions among us are whether we should single
out not-climate related issues, or if we follow the opinions of the participants and
what they consider as climate relevant. We all agree on the importance of
bringing a democratic input into municipal policies and to break up with a long-
established routine. This is what I identify as one of the crucial hinge points:
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Things we can control
Things we cannot control
Climate related
The presentation of all climate
related issues presented in the
Municipal po litics, administration
Not climate related
Public integration of non-climate
related issues
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4.3. Reflections / Synthesis
The open approach to the field helped to avoid following a predefined agenda;
there was a long period of anthropological field work in and about the Jade Bay
region before I figured out how to apply the scenario methodology. My
participation in the Wilhelmshaven workshop, which was organized by a regional
cultural organization, opened my eye for a specific need in the climate debate in
this area; the need for a public arena where concerned citizens can express
explicitly their matters of concern. The workshop format with introductory notes
followed by discussion groups turned out to work pretty well, as did the focus on
visions as the guiding principle.
In the follow-up workshops, which I organized with others, my focus was on the
timing, the moderation and the set-up of the discussion groups. It turned out
that a (1)-(2)-(4) method is highly effective. One of the problems in the first two
workshops was the report to the plenary; as it turned out, lots of content gets
lost. Installing moderators for the groups, who also report, turned out to be
more effective of course, this depends on the quality of the moderators (some
of them had professional moderation experience, which helps a lot).
Concerning hinge points: the differentiation between climate related and not
climate related issues turned out to be a crucial point of discussion, especially
among the organizers (CoCliServ, BUND) of the workshops. Who defines what is
climate relevant? Climate science? Anthropology? The nature conservation NGO?
Or is everything that participants suggest relevant, or, climate relevant? As an
analytical category, it does not really work, exactly because of this problem: what
is climate relevant and what not in the Anthropocene?
One problem of my approach is time; the project only runs for three years.
People in the area are familiar with the “slash and burn” methods of science;
scientists appear for a short time, mess up things, and then they disappear
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again. At least, this is one of the reactions I experienced. The Dangast workshop
unfortunately was a negative example in this respect; participants were really
disappointed that we did not follow up the route. The workshop was highly
appreciated by the participants and considered as a new form of democratic
intervention; but in the end, we failed to meet these expectations. The
Westerstede workshop instead is, up to now, a positive example, where chances
are good, that in the remaining time of the project we will achieve an incremental
process and follow-up workshops with results.
The concept of “hinge points” will become more relevant when the scenario
exercises will narrow down to specific issues and to the actual political process.
Up to now, “hunches” were more important for the implementation of the
scenario exercises with a specific public; I realized during my field stay that there
is less an information need (even though the presentation of the “North German
coastal and climate office” about regional climate effects was highly welcomed),
but an articulation need. Municipal, regional and national politics obviously do
not express the whole range of public climate concern. With CoCliServ, we can at
least contribute to staging arenas where people can articulate their concerns, as
a first step. The second step, the integration of these concerns in the agenda of
municipal politics, will be the task for the remaining time of the project.
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5. Case study: Bergen, Norway
5.1. Introduction
On the 19th of November 2018, researchers at the University of Bergen held a
workshop with 18 diverse participants, as part of CoCliServ. The workshop built
on previous research on narratives of climate and weather in Bergen city
(Bremer et al., 2020), asking participants to use these narratives for building ideal
scenarios of how Bergen should develop to be more resilient to climatic change
by 2050. The scenarios were in turn used to plan steps toward these ideal
futures, and identify the resources needed to move along this trajectory. In this
way, the workshop contributed to on-going discussions about how Bergen can
cope with climatic change with fresh approaches and perspectives.
The workshop had three broad goals. First, it sought to broaden the participation
and thinking around how Bergen should develop over the next 30 years to be
more climate resilient by 2050. Second, it sought to build visions for Bergen’s
future that are anchored in an appreciation for Bergen’s past; the features,
culture and identity that make Bergen particular. In CoCliServ, this was about
linking the workshops to the narrative research. Third, it sought to identify the
knowledge needed to plan for Bergen under climate change to help steer
climate-related research in Bergen. In CoCliServ, this was about linking the
workshops to the work on enhancing ‘climate services.’
This report is about what we did in the workshop, and what we found out.
Section 2 goes through the workshop activities, and discusses how well the
workshop worked toward our main goals. Section 3 presents the main findings
from the workshop, distilled as six main themes that participants discussed as
important for Bergen’s future, and a discussion on what this means more
broadly for how we think about climate services elsewhere. The actual group
work from the workshop is digitised and included as an appendix.
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5.2. Workshop method stage by stage and critical reflections
5.2.1. Welcome and introduction to the workshop
Workshop participants began arriving at the venue from 8.30am where they
were welcomed with coffee and snacks, and could meet and talk with the
facilitators and other participants. At 9.15am we convened the workshop with a
short welcome by Lisbeth Iversen in Norwegian, followed by an introduction to
the CoCliServ project and the workshop by Scott Bremer, in English.
The introduction started by introducing the CoCliServ project researchers
present. Three researchers Lisbeth Iversen, Scott Bremer and Anne Blanchard
worked as facilitators. In addition, Jeroen van der Sluijs moved around the three
groups providing support and ensuring all groups progressed at a similar rate.
There were also two overseas observers who joined Group 3: Anne De Rudder
and Birgit Gerkensmeier. The introduction went on to present the role of the
workshop in the CoCliServ project and how the findings would be used. It
finished by explaining why participants were chosen and encouraged them to
embrace an open, creative and critical attitude to the day’s work.
5.2.2. Group composition and facilitation style
Participants were then asked to consult the list of groups, and seat themselves at
the appropriate table where they began with a short round of introductions. To
ensure consistency between WP1 and WP2, as well as to allow creative, new
ideas to be voiced during the workshop, we recruited six participants from the
narrative interviews in WP1, and another 12 participants who were
recommended either by the workshop facilitators or by the WP1 interviewees. In
total, we had 18 participants in the workshop, nine women and nine men, across
a broad age range (from students to retirees). Participants were split into three
heterogeneous groups of six, as follows:
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Group 1: Lisbeth Iversen
Group 2: Scott Bremer
Group 3: Anne Blanchard
Climate scientist Climate scientist Climate scientist
County council planner Municipality planner County governor planner
Municipality planner PhD candidate in geography PhD candidate in geography
Member of the ‘grandparents for
climate action’
Member of ‘Friends of the Earth Researcher in clinical medicine
Member of the Norwegian Climate
Consultant architect
Leader of a creative writing group for
Librarian (Bergen public library)
Student member of ‘Climate =
Health’ NGO
Student member of ‘Climate =
Health’ NGO
In designing the workshops, the rationale was to contribute to on-going
discussions about Bergen under a changing climate, but to extend this
discussion beyond the normal network of science and policy actors. This is why
all groups had a climate science expert and an actor working in local
government, but also included participants with other backgrounds.
Two groups ran the workshop in Norwegian, and one group in English, as some
participants were more comfortable in that language. The two observers were
sitting with the English group.
We chose to adopt a facilitation style that was mainly not very interventionist.
The objective was to let participants lead their own discussion and come up with
their own creative ideas; to allow them the space to speak freely, not too
constrained by the workshop’s structure. The intervention of the facilitators was
about questioning why participants chose a certain dimension card, and
prompting them to reflect further on the resources needed in the back casting
exercise. In addition, facilitators generally ensured participants remained on-task
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and at times encouraged less vocal participants to share their views. As it
happened, the scenario development work was mainly steered by the groups,
but the back-casting work was more difficult and demanded more active
facilitation and support.
This minimalist style of facilitation seemed to fit well the group size (6 people),
and allowed for active discussions to take place, where every member felt they
were heard. Indeed, according to the observers and some participants who
made a special note of it, the group size was optimal and allowed for everyone to
take an active part in lively discussions, while at the same time allowing, through
the diverse backgrounds, for a broad range of perspectives and ideas to be
raised. A participant notes in their feedback form: “A very interesting day, great
people, good connections, learned new things!”
However, this type of facilitation posed two main problems. First, we realised
afterwards that some participants didn’t endorse their professional role and
talked more from a private perspective (which was useful too, but we should
have prompted them to talk from both perspectives). Second, some of the
discussions remained at the general level; in particular during the back casting
exercise when exploring the resources needed to achieve steps towards the
2050-future. Not many detailed discussions occurred then, or if they did, not all
were reflected in the scenario and back casting written work, even if facilitators
encouraged participants to write them down (for example, there was a
discussion in Group 3 about establishing bike lanes in zones like Bryggen with a
historical heritage, the space required and whether historic pebbles could be
removed, but this was not reflected in their written work). This is mostly
explained by the feeling participants voiced that they didn’t have enough
expertise to say something legitimate about these issues. Facilitators have
additional notes of these detailed discussions.
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5.2.3. Developing climate scenarios for Bergen in 2050
Assigning the three climate scenarios
The first working session randomly allocated to each group one of three broad,
prepared scenarios for ‘Bergen in 2050’, and asked groups to craft these into
more detailed scenarios that they endorsed. The session started with
instructions in English, and groups were subsequently helped by their facilitator
in this task.
The three scenarios were not mutually exclusive, and rather represented three
aspects to the same challenge of Bergen adapting to a changing climate in 2050.
The intention was to have the three groups approach this adaptation challenge
from three different points of departure: control the climate, live with the
climate, or make the most of the climate.
In order to streamline the workshop work and ensure continuity between WP1
and WP2, the scenarios were prepared in advance of the workshop based on
findings from WP1 narrative interviews, when interviewees were asked to
describe their future vision for Bergen under climate change. Scenarios were
deliberately left very broad including just a title, a photo and a short mission-
statement with the intention that groups would add their own details and
dimensions to the scenario and ‘make it their own’. This also made for scenarios
that were better grounded in the actual concerns of Bergen as a place.
Scenario A was titled ‘A 1.5 degree city’, and was drawn from the municipalities
Green Strategy, which has a mitigation focus on reducing Bergen’s emissions in
line with global climate governance to control average global warming to no
more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Scenario B was titled ‘Let it rain’ and embodied an
attitude of living with the climatic change, which is anticipated to bring increased
rainfall to already rainy Bergen. Scenario C was titled ‘High-tech haven’ and
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emphasised the need to make the most of climatic change, by exploring
economic and other opportunities, in renewable energy technologies for
example (see also the appendix).
One member from each group drew a scenario out of a hat, and the groups
began work. We deliberately chose not to present the three scenarios in
advance, so that in principle participants did not know what other groups were
working on. This was done to ensure that groups focussed on their assigned
scenario, instead of wanting to choose another scenario that better fitted their
visions. This noted, facilitators did intimate that the other groups worked with
different scenarios, and some reference to their content. In reflection, by failing
to deliberately present all three scenarios in plenary, we caused anxiety among
some participants, who were not satisfied with their own scenario framing, and
were concerned whether or not one of the other groups worked on a scenario
that they were more interested in. A better strategy would have been to present
all three scenarios to all participants at the beginning.
Critically reflecting, the prepared scenarios introduced a number of
disadvantages. Most significantly, it introduced a tension between participants’
preferred future scenario and the scenario their group was allocated. There is a
difficult balance between providing a relatively narrow thinking space pre-
defined scenarios and methods for example while also offering participants the
freedom to voice what’s important to them. Some felt that the scenario was so at
odds with their own vision, that it was difficult to ‘make it their own’ and voice
their concerns in that framework. How could, for example, neo-liberal Scenario C
also open up discussions on local participatory democracy? This noted,
participants were in this way encouraged to be creative in re-crafting scenarios
towards their visions, and ensuring a diversity of discussions across the three
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Related to this, the prepared scenarios carry their own assumptions, about the
existence of climatic change for example, and their own framing of appropriate
responses, which meant some solutions were excluded as beyond the scenarios
scope. One participant noted in their reflection form: “Could have had a bit more
focus on energy supply scenarios”. Moreover, by starting out quite broad, the
scenarios made for a quite general-level of discussion that made it difficult to
drill down to more concrete, focused measures. However, having broad
scenarios ensured that participants had an open enough space for free thinking;
which was one of our objectives.
Developing detailed scenarios along five dimensions
Participants were then asked to choose five ‘dimension cards’ among a set of 16
pre-written cards (including a blank one), to flesh out their scenario with
supplementary details and make it their own. They chose cards that both fitted
their allocated scenario, and cards that they, as a group, found most relevant
and important.
To continue ensuring continuity between WP1 and WP2, the dimension cards,
like the three scenarios, were inspired by WP1 narrative interviews and reflected
the most important elements that lend Bergen a sense of place. In the table
below are the headings of the 16 cards (they were all further detailed with two or
three concrete bullet points):
1: A compact city 5: A climate science
9: Freeing the waterways 13: A city linked to nature
2: Climate-proof buildings 6: Resilient Bergensers 10: Safe from climate impacts 14: Diverse and
3: A port city 7: A historical city 11: Rain-friendly spaces in the
15: Green spaces in the city
4: Walkways and cycle-
8: A local democracy 12: Busses, boats and ‘bybanen’ 16: Blank card
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The three groups read the 16 cards and voted or debated which five should be
added to their scenario. We limited the number to five cards, so that participants
would have time to discuss them in thorough details. Participants were allowed
to amend the cards (combine them, or add/remove/rewrite bullet points), and to
use a blank card to add a dimension of their choice (one group did).
The dimension card exercise was an engaging step that launched lively
discussions in the groups about what they liked, disliked, and felt was missing in
their scenario. It also encouraged participants to voice climate-related
dimensions they found particularly important for Bergen, whether it fitted their
scenario or not. It was in that sense a good introductory round too, as the
participants got familiar with each other’s diverse backgrounds.
The scenario and card exercise validated the WP1 narrative interviews in many
ways, as the cards were recognised by the participants as valid, and there was no
sign that any scenario was missing (apart maybe for a stronger focus on energy).
As discussed in the result section, this step was interesting as it showed which
dimensions were chosen across the three groups (for instance Card 5: ‘Bergen as
a climate science city’ was chosen by all groups).
Bergen today: mapping Bergen’s progress toward their future scenario
After developing a detailed future scenario, groups were asked to complete an
assessment of the situation in the ‘Bergen Today’ task, relative to that scenario. It
asked, along what trajectory is Bergen developing now, and to what extent is that
trajectory likely to see Bergen give effect to their detailed scenario by 2050? In
this way the assessment was not static, but mapped today’s point on a trajectory
that we are travelling on now.
Participants wrote on A3-sheets that had five blank cells their assessment of
‘Bergen today’ relative to their five chosen ‘dimension cards’. They went
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dimension by dimension and asked for example: ‘to what extent is Bergen
becoming a climate science city, as of today?’ All groups ended up using this A3-
template. In the five cells they noted characteristics of Bergen today that
corresponded to their future vision, and to what extent they represented
‘progress’ toward their vision.
5.2.4. Back-casting ways to the future
By the second session, groups had before them on the table: (i) an A3-size
detailed scenario sheet, with five cards stuck to it; (ii) an A3-size assessment of
‘Bergen Today’, separated by (iii) a large A2 sheet of blank paper. Groups were
asked to identify steps that Bergen needs to take to move towards a trajectory
that achieves their detailed scenario in 2050. First, they wrote down steps on
green post-its which were stuck to the blank sheet of paper, in no particular
chronological order; simply to note all particular processes, actions, and
decisions that group members thought needed to be taken. The second task was
to chronologically order these steps broadly, with attention to the short, medium
and long term. This was also a moment for groups to revisit each post-it and ask
if this step was absolutely necessary for progressing Bergen towards their future
vision and remove it if it was not.
Groups found the back-casting of steps toward their vision to be more difficult
than defining the vision itself, with all facilitators reporting some hesitation about
how to approach this task. As one participant noted in their feedback form: “In
our group the first part (defining the scenario) were easier than the last part
(back-casting). It was very clear that it was easier to define goals than how to
reach them.” Groups adopted their own rationales for ordering the steps; Group
1, for example, mapped steps for each of their five-dimension cards against a
picture of a mountain, while Group 2 came up with three main goals or streams
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of work, which translated into three parallel sets of steps. All groups noted a
large number of steps, which were a mix of actions, decisions, processes,
resources and so on.
There were two inherent challenges to this back-casting work, noted by the
facilitators and participants alike. First, the steps were largely anchored in the
current challenges and solutions offered for climate adaptation and mitigation,
rather than unlocking participants’ fantasy and opening a creative discussion
about possible future challenges and solutions that we may not yet know. As one
participant noted, “It was difficult to keep the focus on the 2050 vision and how
to get there. The discussion mostly revolved around the status quo and
difficulties with trying to change the course”. This was at least partly because the
scenarios were built from dimensions that emerged in the narrative interviews,
discussing place-making elements of Bergen today; the unique ways in which
Bergen already faces climate change, and what makes this place special. By
anchoring the work in current narratives, this made it difficult for groups to
detach from these and adopt imaginaries of the future; to think truly creatively.
On the other hand, the anchoring of the work in current lived realities and sense
of place is also an advantage, in that it grounds what can otherwise be a highly
fantastical and unrealistic exercise.
A second challenge was to get to highly detailed and concrete steps, because
much of the discussion stayed at a more general level. There were various
possible reasons for this. One may be because the scenarios themselves were
constructed in quite a general way. Another reason may be because the groups
were highly diverse so the discussion went in various directions, when
homogenous groups may have drilled down into one line of inquiry. A third
reason may be because the groups did not feel like they had the expertise to
discuss the technical requirements for, for example, designing cycleways or open
stormwater systems. A fourth reason may be the non-interventionist facilitation,
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which allowed groups to think and discuss freely, rather than tying them to one
technical issue. A fifth reason may be because groups were not experienced in
this type of task.
5.2.5. Identifying resource needs, obstacles and writing a wish list
The final part of the previous session was for groups to go from green post-it to
green post-it, from step to step, and ask what we needed to achieve this step.
These needs could be anything from climate science and information, to material
resources and finance, political will, experience and expertise or laws and
policies for example. These ‘needs’ were to be written on yellow post-its and
attached to their corresponding green post-it (step). Because the back-casting
took so long, this task of identifying needs was postponed until the third session
after lunch.
Getting to detailed discussions on the resources needs for achieving the various
steps, and on the potential obstacles that could come up, was found difficult for
the reasons mentioned above. This is why we prompted the participants to distil
those needs into a wish list, in order to encourage them to think about these
needs in more concrete ways, and to prioritise those needs that they thought
were most important. In the result section, we give an overview of those
identified needs and obstacles.
5.2.6. Plenary session and evaluation forms
We finished the workshops with the groups presenting their work to the others,
particularly focussing on the wish lists and potential resources to get to these.
We then gave time to the participants to fill out evaluation forms, and planned to
keep them all updated about the project’s progress and invite them to a
subsequent meeting in spring.
D2.2. Incremental Scenario Case Studies
Overall, participants gave very positive feedback about how the workshop went:
it was seen as an opportunity to meet “great people from other sectors”, “hear all
their good ideas” and “learn new things”. The facilitators and observers also were
positive towards the unfolding of the workshop and the richness of the
discussions and results that will be drawn from it. However, many felt it was a lot
of work for one day. Indeed, we didn’t have time to discuss hinge points, and one
participant regretted that there was no time for further, in-depth discussions
about the resources needed and potential challenges related to the wish lists:
“we didn’t have time to discuss the problems that have to be solved if we are to
have our wish list fulfilled”. As noted in the section above, the discussions were
very lively and mostly self-led in the first half of the day, but participants needed
more support towards the end of the day, especially for the back casting and
wish list exercises, when discussions needed to be more concrete and technical.
Keeping participants updated on the project’s progress after the workshop is
very important. Participants voiced a strong wish to stay connected with each
other and to meet again to pursue these discussions. This is why the project
members are planning a coffee meeting with all participants in the course of
Spring 2019, to feedback results and ask for comments, as well as to discuss a
repertoire of useful actions or platforms that could be implemented to present
climate information to a broader audience in such a way that it could be easily
used (accessible climate models and maps, short movies, and pictures or posters
in public spaces…). Along those lines, project members aim to investigate
whether there are similar initiatives in different cities in Norway or Europe, and
establish a small catalogue of actions that could serve as an inspiration source
for Bergen. Finally, participants asked that, as a follow up, an article be written in
Norwegian about the workshop in the local newspaper Bergens Tidende (BT). We
have planned for project members to give an interview to a BT journalist about
the project and the workshop, and invite the journalist to our Spring meeting.
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5.3. Findings and discussion
5.3.1. Analysis of the research results
This report does not analyse the workshop results step-by-step for each activity
(scenario-building, back-casting and identifying resource needs), but identifies six
key themes that cut across the day’s activities, and were important for how all
three groups talked about Bergen’s future under climatic change.
These themes were not decided before-hand. They emerged as categories of
recurrently referenced and linked concepts in the analysis of the groups’ work,
and notes of discussions among the research team following the workshop. After
identifying the themes, the analysis went back over the workshop results and
coded them according to the six themes. Within these broad themes, we in turn
identified sub-categories and coded for them. For example, under the theme of
‘a climate science city’ there was discussion about an interdisciplinary science-
sharing platform, measures for sharing science with local government, how
science can be better integrated with education institutions, how to more
generally disseminate science, and specific science needs; each a different sub-
category under the over-arching theme. A digital version of each group’s work is
included as an Appendix for reference to the exact findings of each activity.
The six themes are presented as meta-narratives, compiled from statements
from all three groups work in all different activities, interpreted by this reports
authors, and re-told as a single composite narrative. They are not directly re-
produced as told by participants, but they are directly anchored in all that was
said and written, and are likely recognisable to participants as a version of what
they discussed. To ensure this, the report will be shared with participants for
comment and discussed in a meeting in Spring 2019. Finally, the themes seek to
at once show the diversity of the workshop discussion, while also looking for
shared visions/links across the groups and participants. The report does NOT try
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to record the precise frequency with which themes and subcategories were
discussed as an indicator of their importance. This noted, the six themes are
roughly in declining order relative to the share of discussion they took up, so that
Theme 1 was more often discussed than Theme 6 for example.
5.3.2. Theme 1: Bergen as a ‘climate science city’
All three groups saw climate sciences, and related scientific disciplines, as an
essential dimension to their vision for Bergen in 2050, under climate change. All
groups added the ‘A climate science city’ card to their scenario; the only card that
appeared in all three scenarios. But beyond simply demanding new science,
workshop participants talked more about how science could be better integrated
with the way different groups of people talk about and plan for Bergen’s climate.
Participants discussed this theme in five main ways.
First, they voiced a desire to bring together scientific and other knowledge from
across disciplines and sectors into an “interdisciplinary climate science platform
for informing education and dialogue.” A common virtual and physical space for
presenting and discussing different scientific research, and building a
comprehensive understanding of Bergen’s climate. Second, participants saw this
platform as a forum where experts particularly working in local municipalities
could ask questions of the science; to strengthen cooperation between science
and policy-making communities. This forum could lead to more climate science-
based policies and decisions “climate projections to make understandable
(policy) scenariosand educate public sector employees about the climate
impacts they will need to face. But as one climate scientist noted, policy-led
research is not valorised in the scientific research community, so there need to
be incentives put in place to encourage scientists to work in such fora.
Third, participants discussed how climate-related science could be better taught
in education institutions, particularly schools, but also for older age-groups. For
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some this came from having obligatory courses on climate in schools and higher
education, and that perhaps all scientists working on climate should be required
to teach for one year in schools. Others talked about more practical-oriented
education in schools with implications for climate, like teaching people how to
grow their own organic food.
Fourth, looking beyond education institutions, participants proposed more active
dissemination of science and technical information for climate adaptation in the
public sphere; “to make knowledge available to all”. This could be through
climate scientists appearing in the media, or conferences on how to plan for
Bergen’s public spaces under climate change scenarios, drawing on what other
cities have done.
Fifth, participants did voice needs for further Bergen-specific science. Particular
calls were made for science of waterways and run-off, rain, sea-level rise and
flooding, to inform surface water management. Other calls were made for
science of extreme weather, “and how we can protect humans, animals and
buildings”. In parallel, there was interest in learning more about Bergen’s
ecosystems and biodiversity for planning the city’s green spaces, and advice on
what kinds of food-plants Bergensers can grow under a changing climate. At the
same time, to support our mitigative action, participants wanted more scientific
information on the city’s demography, transport needs, “consumption levels and
resource supply and real needs”, as well as robust information on emissions.
Finally, participants saw a need for more research on how to effectively
communicate climate information to different social groups in Bergen,
particularly for convincing them of taking necessary adaptive and mitigative
measures. Beyond these explicitly voiced science-needs, we can interpret other
needs as underlying their discussions, like further research on how to establish
the kinds of social spaces implied by a scientific platform.
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5.3.3. Theme 2: Engaged citizens in a healthy democracy
Participatory democracy was a prominent theme in all three groups, who argued
for more opportunities for Bergensers to discuss what climate change means for
Bergen, and what kind of city people want to live in. Two groups used the ‘A local
democracy’ card in their scenario work, and all three groups included
considerations for democracy in back-casting and identifying resource and
information needs. Discussions went in five related directions.
First, participants called for more physical and virtual ‘social spaces’ where
people can discuss how Bergen should change in response to climatic and other
changes. These spaces should be open to all to nurture dialogue, and build
networks, across different groups and sectors; from climate scientists to
municipality experts, local politicians, education institutions and students,
businesses, and active local citizen groups including NGOs for example. These
spaces would be arenas for sharing climate science, but also other ideas about
what climate change means for Bergen and measures for mitigating or adapting
to these changes; inspired by other cities for instance. Such dialogue will make
visible the value conflicts in the city for example between intensification into a
more compact city versus having more green spaces while at the same time
moving toward agreeing on, “A shared vision for the future that cuts across
sectors of society, political ideals, socio-economic status, education level…”. For
some this started very locally, from “a need for neighbourhood visions; a local
vision of what we want to do with our neighbours”. Finally, participants saw
‘solutions’ as having many dimensions not solely focused on climate mitigation
for example such as solutions that promote ‘public health and a better climate’,
like promoting cycle-ways.
Involving politicians and municipality experts in these social spaces could ensure
that the things discussed would be translated into public decisions and policy.
But this raises an important barrier related to the perceived legitimacy of these
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spaces, and how accountable politicians would be to giving effect to the things
decided. These spaces must have the power to shape the city.
Second, participants wanted Bergen to be a ‘just’ city, in the context of climatic
change. Our public-decision-making must consider which groups or
neighbourhoods will be worst affected by climate-related impacts, with the
poorer areas of Bergen worst affected by air pollution for example. It must also
consider what climate mitigation and adaptation measures will mean for the
least advantaged people of Bergen, and ensure our focus on the climate and
environment is not at the expense of fair living conditions for all. For example,
Bergen has incentivised electric cars as a means of mitigation, but as one group
noted electric cars are mostly owned by men over 40, as a second car. Many
adaptation measures imply an active outdoor lifestyle, but this is not a lifestyle
that is desirable (or possible) for all. As one participant reflected:
“Most of the suggested solutions […] would put further burden on
individuals (road tax, spend more time outside and be equipped for
that, pay more tax, charge the ships more so the imported goods will
get more expensive). I think we should consider the (actual) economic
status of the regular person before implementing more rules that
would make it even more difficult for her/him.”
Discussions about a just society also zoomed out from a ‘climate-based
discussion’ to more generally call for affordable housing in the city centre and
around green areas, a city that is more practical for families with kindergardens
in every neighbourhood for example, incentives for local shops in the centre, or
more free public events open to all, for example.
Third, participants called for changes in the current frameworks for decision-
making. Particularly, they saw a need for more “bold politicians with clear green
visions”, who can push for, “concrete plans and policies and outcomes that are
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followed up” and make money available in a ‘climate action fund.’ At the same
time, existing planning and decision-making processes need to be amended to
allow for earlier public participation.
Fourth, in parallel with the social spaces, participants favoured more active
spaces where individuals and groups can work on small projects, related to
improving the quality of life and the environment in Bergen. This could take the
form of ‘repair cafes’, where people can repair broken household items rather
than throwing them away and buying new ones, or ‘makerspaces’, where people
can experiment with new forms of artwork or technologies. Fifth, and related,
there was a lively discussion about changing the shape of Bergens economy,
towards a ‘circular economy’ with relatively little waste, and a ‘shared economy’,
based more on the collective use of things like cars, rather than their private use.
5.3.4. Theme 3: Resilient Bergensers
Participants discussed how Bergen and its residents could be made more
resilient to climatic and other changes. Some discussed resilience as
‘engineered’, such as by building covered walkways around the shopping centre
to keep people dry when facing projections for even more rainy days. Most,
however, discussed resilience as Bergensers attitude to living with the weather.
One group used the ‘Resilient Bergeners’ card in their scenario work. Another
group wrote “promote values, education and support for outdoor activities” on
the ‘A city linked to nature’ card. A third group wrote ‘playgrounds’ on the ‘A
compact city’ card, interpreted as promoting an outdoor lifestyle. Discussion in
this theme went in three main directions.
First participants sought more active and volunteer-led “public climate awareness
campaigns”; communicating what climate change means for Bergen, and what
measures individual people can take to mitigate their climate impact and adapt.
This, for some, served as a more general complement to the targeted social
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spaces for more participatory democracy (see above). Such public awareness
campaigns face barriers however, such as peoples’ fatigue toward climate
change stories, or the negative overtones to climate change when it can also be
seen as an opportunity or a fact of nature to live with.
Second, participants sought to re-emphasise how Bergen’s climate contributes to
a sense of place, culture and identity, and how this identity can promote ‘living in
the rain’ as resilience to climatic variability and change. A number of suggestions
were put forward for celebrating and marketing Bergen’s identity as ‘the Rain
City’. One group in particular talked about Bergen’s rain as an attraction for
visitors, and wondered why the tourism sector did not highlight this; why for
example most postcards show Bergen in the sun? On one hand, participants
suggested organising rain festivals and events, and on the other hand,
competitions for designing art and architecture for Bergen that interacts with
rainfall and water as a key element in the city; noting, “the water sculptures [in
Bergen] are a magnet for people.” Living by this identity means framing weather
and Bergen’s rain particularly as a positive thing, or at the very least a fact of
nature, and by extension promoting an outdoor culture in all weather. This
culture was expressed relative to improving cycle- and walk-ways, by enhancing
outdoor education in schools, and through creative enterprises like having rain
clothing and umbrellas to rent.
Third, the discussion of resilient Bergensers turned to changing the local
economy, and attitudes toward consumption of all age groups in the city. This
included by introducing regulation and incentives to lower consumption and
reduce waste, such as by lowering taxes for ‘low-consumers’ or introducing laws
to limit on-line shopping. Participants also talked about main-streaming ‘shared
economy’ initiatives, like car-sharing schemes for example and the way they are
changing attitudes to private car ownership. Finally, some participants saw
climate change as an opportunity for a drastic shift toward a ‘green economy’; for
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example by using Norway’s oil fund to spark the transition to a technology-driven
economy, like that embodied in ‘high tech haven’ scenario.
5.3.5. Theme 4: A city linked to nature
One of Bergen’s defining features is its ‘closeness to nature’, surrounded by
seven forested mountains and the fjord, with this link to nature an important
dimension of all three groups visions for the city’s future under climatic change.
Two groups used the ‘A city linked to nature’ card in their scenario work, and a
third group wrote ‘green lungs’ on their ‘Compact city’ card. The discussion went
along three lines.
First, participants emphasised the dual climate adaptive and mitigative functions
of “attractive green urban spaces”, and how they improve the quality of life and
the environment in the city. Participants discussed the role of green spaces for
addressing emissions and air quality (‘green lungs’), as natural reservoirs for run-
off and flooding, as ways for bringing plants and animals into the city, and as
‘meeting places’ for recreation and social events. Groups discussed ‘green roofs’
in the city, or opening up ‘green corridors’, for example along waterways and
cycle- and walk-ways. Linked to this was a discussion around re-opening the
natural waterways in the city, many of which currently run through piped
infrastructure, as so-called ‘blue corridors’. Opening the waterways was
discussed as a measure to reduce flooding risk from under-designed
infrastructure, as a natural amenity, and as a measure to improve the ecosystem
in the city. Importantly, even though many groups emphasised the need for a
compact city, they were quick to point out that this should not be at the expense
of green spaces. There was also a desire to leave the mountains as ‘natural’, with
one group emphasising renewable energy but arguing for “no windmills on the
seven mountains.”
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Second, the workshop highlighted a desire for urban food gardens in the city.
Some participants demanded “Provisions for agricultural plots in compact urban
areas”, as a source of locally-produced, organic fruit and vegetables. This implies
not only making available the amenities for these gardens, but also the
information and expertise for people to grow their own food. These gardens
should preferably be communal, rather than private plots, and could be in public
spaces. For example, one group discussed replacing some of the ornamental
trees in public parks and streets with fruit trees.
Third, there was a discussion of how these green spaces should be planned and
managed. This starts with municipality policies and plans, with participants
recommending concrete regulations for a minimum of green space in the city
centre, for incrementally opening the waterways, and for “Proper zoning for
public space, buildings, green areas and roads”. This was seen to go hand-in-
hand with developing the municipalities’ experience and expertise with this kind
of green planning, and the prestige of planning for green areas. Some
participants saw a lack of political will, boldness and concreteness as a major
barrier to putting green spaces in place. Finally, some participants asserted that
these green spaces should be publicly owned and managed, with opportunities
for stewardship by certain public institutions like schools who ‘adopt a
5.3.6. Theme 5: Transport in the city
All groups had long discussions about transport; how we move people and
goods into Bergen and around the city in 2050. Transport was an important
dimension of participants vision for Bergen, with two groups using the card
‘Busses, boats and bybanen’ in their scenario work, and a third group writing
‘rain-proof walk and cycle ways’ on their ‘Resilient Bergensers’ card. People saw
transport as an important place to start reducing emissions in Bergen, while also
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improving the quality of life and the environment in the city, with the discussions
going in five main directions.
First, participants talked about the need for high-level strategic and structural
planning for transport, starting with concrete targets for emission cuts in the
municipalities’ transport plans. There were also large-scale measures proposed
for redesigning or restructuring the form of the city around transport. One
proposal was to stop work on the E39 highway, which many considered would
only promote more private car usage along the Norwegian west coast, in and out
of Bergen. Another proposal was to design the city, and provide incentives, for
rewarding short commutes; building housing near workplaces, and having
financial incentives for employees who travel least. However, participants
foresaw a barrier to such fundamental transport re-planning in a lack of political
will or economic means to put in place the wide-ranging changes needed.
Second, and in parallel with the structural planning, the municipalities’ must
further promote public transport, and design the city around cheap (even free)
and frequent public transport routes, that tightly traverse the city. Moreover, this
public transport, from buses to the bybanen or boats, should have zero
emissions as soon as possible. There do remain technical barriers to this
however, because even electric technologies have an important environmental
impact elsewhere, through the mining of rare earth elements for example.
Third, participants sought important changes to the culture and infrastructures
for car usage in Bergen. They argued for “more ‘car-free’ areas, especially in the
city centre, with a simpler decision-making process” for establishing these areas.
A complement to this was to reduce parking spaces in the city centre, to
discourage commuting to the centre. At the same time, there is an argued need
to change attitudes to private car ownership, both through regulation and taxes
which discourage people from buying private cars, and though clear information
and incentives for alternatives, like through the existing car-sharing platforms in
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the city. Here again, participants foresaw a lack of political will to keep cars out of
the city centre, based partly on a fear of decay in the city centre, if people stop
Fourth, there was a lot of discussion about improving and extending the network
of cycle- and walk-ways in the city, and making them as ‘rain-proof’ and ‘cycle-
friendly’ as possible. Participants said that this should start from a robust
strategic planning process, which allocates resources and physical space to
incrementally developing this network. This includes regulation for ensuring
these ways are of high quality, while ensuring that “perfect is not the enemy of
good enough”. One group discussed that many of the standards put forward for
cycle- and walk-ways (standard width for example) are barriers to extending the
network, because there are often physical barriers like topography, narrow
streets or cultural sites. With a strong network in place, participants saw
opportunities for using bicycles as a way of delivering goods around the city (as
opposed to delivery vans and trucks), and even discussed goods delivery by
Fifth, there was a lively discussion about boats and the port as a transport hub. In
general, participants saw the port and shipping traffic as positive, because it
reduces the number of trucks on the road, it has overall reduced emissions, it is
positive for Bergen’s economy, and because shipping has a long and historic
tradition in Bergen. But participants did suggest some changes. They argued for
regulating, and reducing, the number of cruise-ships that visit Bergen each year,
while simultaneously exploring options for emission-free cruise-ships. They
argued for the port to endorse standards for ethical maritime trade, which may
mean taxing some port-related financial transactions, and for example, highly
taxing ships if they are not switching to land power. Finally, participant saw
important opportunities for expanding the fleet of boats providing public
transport around Bergen, and between the centre and the outlying islands.
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5.3.7. Theme 6: Safe and smart buildings
A sixth theme that was particularly important in groups’ scenario work, though
featured less in the other activities, was about how we can improve the quality of
Bergen’s buildings relative to climatic change. One group chose the ‘Safe from
climate impacts’ card, and wrote ‘weatherproof buildings, including cultural
monuments’. A second group wrote ‘safe and smart buildings (weatherproof and
energy efficient)’ on the ‘climate science city’ card. A third group created their
own card titled ‘Reduced emissions related to buildings and construction
activities’. Buildings’ ‘safety’ and ‘weatherpoof-ness’ generally referred to their
resilience to climate-related impacts - particularly extreme events like storms or
floods, but also very warm weather - related to where they are situated, how
they are built and how they are used. ‘Smart’ buildings generally referred to
buildings’ energy efficiency, their actual emissions over their lifetime, and the
emissions and environmental impact associated with their construction. One
group in particular argued for building to be in environmentally-friendly
materials and to have a ‘circular economy’ for construction, such that buildings
are maintained, reused, and any waste recycled. Another group argued for
incentives to insulate buildings, because they felt that electricity prices are
currently too cheap, and as such that there is no incentive to be more energy
5.3.8. Hinge points or key moments towards affecting future scenarios
One year after the workshop, the Bergen CoCliServ team conducted an ex-post
analysis of the ‘hinge points’ in groups’ planned routes to their preferred
scenarios in the back-casting exercise. These are key moments, when certain
decisions or developments can see Bergen diverge from the planned route, and
progress along a different trajectory, to a different future scenario. Of course,
given the extreme uncertainties associated with the development of Bergen, this
is more of a heuristic exercise to help think about important points of action,
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rather than seriously ‘map’ a limited set of possible futures; there is an unlimited
range of possibilities at each juncture. A detailed list of these hinge points is
included in the appendix.
Looking across the hinge points from all three groups, there are five noteworthy
points of analysis. First, the groups did not consider at all any particular
moments of natural change that were necessary to transition towards the
identified scenarios. For instance, there were no climatic tipping points
mentioned. Groups limited their discussion to the transformation of society (in
nature). Second, most discussion focused on changes that would happen, or
should happen, locally in Bergen. There were almost no explicit steps or hinge
points relating to changes that would need to occur globally (i.e. related to global
climate governance), or even nationally in Norway. This could be explained by
the fact that the previous discussions were focussing on Bergen. Third, with
some notable exceptions (about promoting new ‘social spaces’ for instance),
most groups looked at how change could be affected within the existing
institutions, organisations, networks and decision-making processes that exist
now. Change was, in this way, more about incremental change within existing
structures rather than a total restructuring of society in Bergen. Fourth, and
related, groups tended to focus on things that are ostensibly within our ‘control’;
that we can plan and strategise for. Some changes were more controllable than
others. For example, some hinge points depended on certain behaviours in the
market, or certain political decisions or election outcomes, which are predictable
to some extent. Finally, the majority of steps toward referred scenarios were
related to climate mitigation and adaptation, but not exclusively focused on
climate change concerns. For example, efforts to increase the density of the city
centre were not solely related to reducing emissions, but also for enlivening the
city and improving its amenity.
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In sum, most hinge points related to non-climate concerns, that were locally
controllable within existing structures. This may indicate that it is difficult for
people to imagine alternative futures at abstract scales (such as the global scale).
Or indeed to imagine natural regimes or rhythms that are markedly different to
those we experience now. On a more philosophical level, we should be aware of
the impacts of running such exercises. Imagining alternative futures and possible
hinge points is not only about making explicit some anticipatory (and sometimes
wishful) thinking; it is also a way to co-construct socio-technical imaginaries.
5.3.9. Identifying Bergen’s needs for climate services
One central goal of this workshop was to elicit from participants their
perspectives on which particular climate information (or climate services) is
needed to plan for Bergen in 2050, under climatic change. To this end, the back-
casting work was designed to elicit information needs at each step toward
groups’ scenarios, distilled into a prioritised ‘wish list’ of resources. The intention
was that, by identifying knowledge gaps, we could help steer the climate-related
scientific research conducted on Bergen and its surrounds. Our actual
experience can be reduced to three reflections, none of which are totally original,
but all three are important for thinking about climate services in Bergen and
One key reflection is that climate information needs are rarely packaged as carefully-
defined scientific questions. The workshop did distil some explicit and concrete
calls for more scientific research in key areas. Some of this research is in the
domain of the traditional sciences of climate and its impacts, like research on
rainfall, runoff, flooding, and ecosystems. Other science needs belonged to the
social sciences, for calculating current energy needs and emissions, or assessing
how best to communicate climate information. However, in a debrief
immediately following the workshop some project researchers were quite
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surprised that, despite the obvious importance placed on climate science (see
Theme 1) there was relatively little explicit mention of new science needs.
For us, this observation invited three explanations. It could be that participants
felt they already have sufficient science about Bergen to act, and that we should
direct attention to how science is organised, communicated and used. Some
participants were commenting that we have a lot of research and knowledge, but
it is how to communicate this and inform the public, that is the challenge. It
could be, methodologically, that the relatively broad discussion among diverse
generalists in each group was a barrier to discussing specific science needs.
There is reason to think that getting to detailed lists of scientific information is
first dependent on detailed technical and scientific discussions among experts.
That scientific needs arise in scientific discussions. For example, a technical
discussion about design-dimensions for Bergen’s blue/green corridors to
accommodate future flooding, with which flood-resistant local species, may have
elicited more concrete science needs. A third explanation, related to the second,
is that the most important steps for Bergen to become more resilient to climatic
change cannot be communicated in scientific terms. The things that really
mattered to participants, like being part of a caring and inclusive local
community for instance, are less easily defined as scientific needs; they are a
different category of concern. This does not mean that we cannot infer from
their discussions where science can help there is an extensive body of science
on social spaces for participatory democracy but by inferring these scientific
questions we abstract from and reformulate the original social concerns. The
scientific questions will rarely perfectly match with peoples’ actual needs,
because they belong to two different categories; two different worlds. This
emphasises the importance of interdisciplinary research and collaboration
between researchers, planners, public actors and decision-makers.
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A second key reflection is about the need for diverse knowledge systems. Though the
groups’ discussions remained quite general, they did bring up an extremely rich
and wide set of measures for making Bergen more resilient. These were social
and procedural measures, by changing the way science is organised and used for
decision-making, by creating social spaces for participatory democracy, and
maintaining Bergensers positive culture towards being out in all weather. These
are also physical outcomes, to enhance and extend the areas of green space and
transport corridors for public transport and cycling or walking, and build smarter
and safer buildings. It is quickly apparent that these diverse measures need to be
supported by diverse knowledge systems, going beyond the climate sciences to
include a wide range of natural, social and humanities science disciplines,
professional knowledges, local and traditional knowledges. For example,
participants argued for more professional experience in Bergen, from
engineering or planning, to build urban spaces for flooding or social interaction.
Climate services as climate science is a narrow framing and either it needs to be
broadened, or an alternative label used to describe the broad set of climate-
related knowledges that should be tailored to communities’ needs.
A third key reflection is that climate services should be more broadly construed than
as a scientific knowledge product, advice or tool. In Bergen at least, we see some
people talking about climate services (even if not in those words) as social
processes of discussing what climate change means for places where people live.
This is not to dismiss the science, but to change its role from that of providing a
data-based projection or simulation, to being a source of evidence to be weighed
in public and often highly political debates. This will demand the transformation
and tailoring of science to be effective in these social spaces; integrating science
into interdisciplinary platforms that ‘talk’ across disparate studies, and are able
to be made meaningful for the topic at hand. While there is undoubtedly a need
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for climate service products for private actors, where these products enter the
public sphere, they will need to be transformed again.
5.4. Summary
The participants reported that the workshop made interesting contributions to
their on-going discussions in Bergen, emphasising six key themes for a more
resilient Bergen. First, that Bergen’s strong climate science capacity should
have an important role in building the city’s climate resilience. Second, that a
resilient city will be one with strongly engaged citizens in a healthy
participatory democracy, emphasising the importance of climate justice and
social spaces for discussing what climate means for Bergen. Third, that Bergen’s
resilience will build on the inherent resilience of inhabitants and their
attitudes even identity of being outdoors in all weather, though creative
measures like rain festivals for instance. Fourth, that Bergen’s close link to
surrounding natural areasthe mountains and fjord are key to building
resilience; building green and blue corridors and other green spaces for
inhabitants, and encouraging urban food gardens for instance. Fifth, resilience is
linked to the city’s mitigation of emissions from transport, by improving public
transport systems, and networks of walk- and cycle-ways. Sixth, that the city
should encourage safer and smarter buildings; resilient to weather events, and
energy efficient to mitigate emissions.
The workshop offers three broad insights for re-thinking climate services, that: (i)
climate information needs are rarely packaged as carefully-defined scientific
questions; (ii) there is a need to mobilise diverse knowledge systems; and (iii)
climate services should be more broadly construed than as a scientific
knowledge product, including as a social process or arena.