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‘Low carbon’ scenarios, roadmaps, transitions and pathways: an overview and discussion

Dixon, T. ORCID:, (2011) ‘Low carbon’ scenarios, roadmaps, transitions and pathways: an overview and discussion. Project Report. EPSRC Retrofit 2050 ISSN 2052-1618

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There are a range of studies based in the low carbon arena which use various ‘futures’- based techniques as ways of exploring uncertainties. These techniques range from ‘scenarios’ and ‘roadmaps’ through to ‘transitions’ and ‘pathways’ as well as ‘vision’-based techniques. The overall aim of the paper is therefore to compare and contrast these techniques to develop a simple working typology with the further objective of identifying the implications of this analysis for RETROFIT 2050. Using recent examples of city-based and energy-based studies throughout, the paper compares and contrasts these techniques and finds that the distinctions between them have often been blurred in the field of low carbon. Visions, for example, have been used in both transition theory and futures/Foresight methods, and scenarios have also been used in transition-based studies as well as futures/Foresight studies. Moreover, Foresight techniques which capture expert knowledge and map existing knowledge to develop a set of scenarios and roadmaps which can inform the development of transitions and pathways can not only help potentially overcome any ‘disconnections’ that may exist between the social and the technical lenses in which such future trajectories are mapped, but also promote a strong ‘co-evolutionary’ content.

Item Type:Report (Project Report)
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Science > School of the Built Environment > Urban Living group
ID Code:34812
Additional Information:WP2011/6
Publisher:EPSRC Retrofit 2050

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