ACTIVITY 4.2: Discuss scenarios with citizens and stakeholders


By Benjamin Baxter / Updated: 28 Nov 2019


Discussing the different scenarios and their impacts with citizens and stakeholders is the first step towards a widely accepted mobilityinfo-icon visioninfo-icon. Presenting different potential futures and reflecting on them together will create a shared understanding of the options for the future. It also helps to create awareness of the interdependencies and trade-offs between different policies and sectors, the complexity of the strategic decisions to be taken, and the risks faced.

The aim is to discuss and work towards a common understanding of which scenarios or elements of scenarios are desirable. Involving citizens and stakeholders already at this stage will help you to create broad ownershipinfo-icon and acceptance of the objectives and measures that will later be selected.



  • Use alternative scenarios as the basis for discussing general policyinfo-icon priorities and strategies for future development.

  • Create broad ownership and acceptance of the process to select a common vision and objectives.



  • Present scenarios and their results to key stakeholders. Stimulate a discussion on strategic policy alternatives and their impacts. Group work and other interactive formats can help you to create a constructive and engaging atmosphere at the meeting(s). Ensure that everyone gets an equal chance to voice their opinion on questions such as:

    • Which needs for change does the business-as-usual scenarioinfo-icon reveal?

    • Which of the alternative policy priorities are desirable?

    • What level of ambition is needed to achieve sustainable mobility in the future?

  • Discuss also interdependencies between changes in the transport sector and in other sectors. How can synergies be created and negative side effects avoided? Consider the resilience of your current transport system and of different scenarios against changing external circumstances.

  • Discuss the scenarios with a wide range of people from all parts of society. Aim to use a variety of engagementinfo-icon methods that also reach typically underrepresented groups, such as young people and the elderly, ethnic minorities, people with low- income, single parents and people with disabilities. Such methods can include placing information and feedback boxes or booths in different parts of the city (e.g. on market squares and in shopping centres, also in low-income areas), gathering feedback online and via social media, cooperating with organisations representing these groups (e.g. kindergartens, schools, universities, cultural associations, job centres), communicating in several languages, and conducting representative surveys (see also Activity 1.4). By comparing the demographic composition of your meeting and online participants with the general population in your city, you can identify underrepresented groups that you should actively seek to reach out to.

  • When inviting stakeholders and citizens, always communicate a clear process and agenda so that they know what is expected from them and how much effort and capacity is required. A good argument to convince them to participate is to highlight the fact that their needs cannot be considered in the planning process without their input.


Activities beyond essential requirements

  • Organise official personal invitations on behalf of your mayor (or president of your organisation) to invite high-ranking stakeholders (e.g. mayors of neighbouring local authorities, local councillors, or directors of large organisations). Their attendance can help achieve high-level political support for the SUMP process.


Timing and coordination
  • Follows or accompanies scenario development.

  • The discussion of the scenarios goes hand in hand with the development of a common vision and objectives (see Activity 5.1 and 5.2). Scenarios and visions are strongly related, and the sequence of developing them can vary between cities or even run in parallel.



✔ The needs for change revealed in the business-as-usual scenario discussed with stakeholders and citizens.

✔ Discussed with stakeholders and citizens which scenarios or elements of scenarios are desirable.

More info: 

Good Practice Example: Prague Czech Republic

Scenario building with strong stakeholder and citizen participation


In 2015, Prague designed three possible scenarios and organised a workshop for experts, as well as a sociological survey to select the most suitable scenario. 57 selected experts gathered in groups and discussed the scenarios in a half-day workshop. A sociological survey collected additional opinions from 2,224 citizens. Based on the combined opinion of stakeholders and citizens, Prague developed its final transport strategy. Designing an expert workshop and a sociological survey with essential, easy questions is an easy, cheap and illustrative solution for scenario selection. It also provides a powerful basis vis-à-vis to political approval, as based on broad and balanced experts’ opinions.


Author: Václav Novotný, Prague Institute of Planning and Development, collected by EUROCITIES

Good Practice Example: Antwerp, Belgium

Broad integration of citizens, policymakers and experts in scenario discussions


The City of Antwerp has introduced innovative governance methods to gain wide public support for their vision for the city. After examining possible scenarios, a steering group selected one that best matched the ambition of Antwerp and that also included adequate and relevant projects for the region. This approach led to an agreed ambition to develop innovative ideas together with citizens and stakeholders. A total of 100 working sessions were organised, in which about 3500 experts and policymakers and approximately 3000 citizens and organisations participated. An alliance was formed and it developed a governance structure to manage the process. The multidisciplinary teams used participation and co-creation tools to shape input received from citizens.


Author: Annelies Heijns, collected by ICLEI