Sustainability Assessment of Scenarios: Beyond GDP growth

University essay from KTH/Hållbar utveckling, miljövetenskap och teknik

Abstract: The creation of futures scenarios is a tool to addresschallenges towards sustainability in planning and thebuilt environment. Scenarios in the project BeyondGDP growth explore futures where priority is givento social and environmental aspects and economicgrowth is regarded as uncertain. When futures areused as an input to planning, there has to be anawareness of the possible consequences of those.Sustainability assessment for futures scenarios aimsto give a comprehensive assessment of how differentscenarios can affect relevant aspects. This thesis gives an overview of current methods forsustainability assessment of futures scenarios. It alsoproposes improvements to one of them and tests iton the Beyond GDP growth scenarios. SAFS (SustainabilityAssessment Framework for Scenarios) isthe method selected. SAFS considers environmentaland social aspects providing qualitative results anduses consumption perspective and life cycle approach. Improvements to SAFS are proposed in two directions.First, the Doughnut developed by Raworth(2012) is integrated in the method. It gives a graphicrepresentation, putting each aspect in context withthe others and facilitate the communication of theassessment results. Second, an alternative approachis suggested to evaluate the consequences of environmentaldeprivation on social conditions. Thisalternative approach can also help communicateuncertainties.

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