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Brainstorming Challenges and Opportunities for Urban Action

Resilience planning requires cities to think about both their current and future challenges, whilst appreciating that the future is uncertain. The different potential future scenarios will also have an influence on how impactful current measures can be in the long-term. Thus, exploring, even if subjectively, how the future might look can help you be better prepared for what comes next.

This is a “City WORKS for Resilience” tool based on the “Brainstorming Challenges and Opportunities for Urban Action” tool.


Exploring how potential future scenarios might affect the challenges your city faces and the impact of the opportunities you have identified.


Step 1: Invite participants to work in groups and think about and write down in the provided table what could potentially happen in the future (within the timeframe of the context of the work you are doing) concerning the following aspects:

  • Society: population trends, migration patterns, expected COVID-19 impact
  • Technology: new available technologies, new applications
  • Environment: climate change, vulnerabilities, changes in ecosystems
  • Economy: changes in economic sectors, reliance on certain products/imports
  • Politics: stability, elections, conflicts

Step 2: Ask groups to evaluate the likelihood and potential consequences of the scenarios described for each aspect above using the references provided in the table.

Step 3: Request groups to use the challenges and opportunities identified in the original brainstorming exercise* and reflect on how the most likely scenarios can affect them, positively or negatively, or/and if any new challenges or opportunities arise.

For a more detailed and quantitative exercise on exploring future scenarios, refer to the “Scenario Planning” tool from the Toolkit for a Resilient Recovery (reference below).


*Alternatively, participants can select the elements already raised in the “Localising Issues in Your City” exercise (if carried out).


2 hours


List of potential challenges and opportunities the city can face in the future, which should consider in the current planning exercise.