Visioning workshop for a sustainable future for Østerbro

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Carolina Marie Fincke
  • Agata Zofia Sliwa
4. Term, Sustainable Design (M.SC) (Master Programme)
In the scale and speed of global changes in the Anthropocene, dealing with wicked problems such as the growing burden of climate change, biodiversity loss, or unsustainable consumption seems to many as unmanageable and even unthinkable. The issues we face are multi-faceted, interconnected, highly unpredictable and threatening to society at an unprecedented scale, which people are not equipped to deal with, or even wrap their heads around.

This collective inability to imagine alternative futures has been identified in literature as a major obstacle to address sustainability challenges, influencing individual behaviour, planning, as well as policy development.

Supporting and encouraging communities to imagine a desirable future therefore forms the basis of this master‘s thesis. The scope of this work lies in the Copenhagen neighbourhood of Østerbro, which can be seen as a case study to test our workshop design. This led to the formulation of the two research questions:

How can we, as Sustainable Design Engineers, develop
a visioning method to make sustainable futures discussable?

How can it be used to collaboratively create
a sustainable vision for Østerbro?

The framing of the project design follows methods and theories starting with Design for Sustainable Transitions, Six Transformations Framework, Nature-based Thinking together with visioning, scenario development, design games and ethnographic methods. The project navigated through the above-mentioned methods and theories started with the design of a visioning workshop, followed by testing of the workshop in two rounds, which led finally to the final solution - the Six Transformations Visioning Workshop. This workshop can be executed in two ways: as a product service system, which implies us as facilitators organising and conducting the workshop and as a toolkit for schools in Østerbro to do the workshop in a lesson.

Our project as a solution presents a tool to help the failure of imagination because it qualifies participants to discuss a more sustainable future and encourages communities to envision a preferable future for their neighbourhood.
Publication date1 Jun 2022
External collaboratorMiljøpunkt Østerbro
Louise Nøhr
ID: 471962403