Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Urban studies (Planning and development)

Publication Details

Futures Academy, Technological University Dublin. 2004


The technological revolution has resulted in fundamental changes as to how and where people work, live and play in modern day society. This has been coupled with unprecedented growth in certain developed countries and has culminated in the creation of new economies based on service provision. Such change has brought with it challenges commonly associated with unpredicted growth; traffic congestion, urban sprawl, the abandonment of inner cities, poor access to education and a perceived lack of affordable housing. However, people now want fewer hours in traffic and more opportunities to enjoy green space, and housing that is both affordable and close to jobs and social activities. They also want healthy cities, towns and suburbs, air and water of the highest quality and a landscape that future generations can be proud to inherit. Advocates in favour of changing from the current development route feel that Smart Development offers the best chance of attaining those goals. Allied to this belief is the recognition of the benefits that accrue out of brownfield redevelopment. One part of the solution proposes the use of future methods like Prospective, to facilitate the adoption of the principles of Smart Development through techniques Scenario Planning. This paper will: • Describe how the global backcloth is changing; • Explain how cities have moved centre stage; • Examine how traditional planning has failed; • Describe the theory and practice of Smart Development; • Explain why there is a need for a Futures approach. In a world with increasing concerns regarding land use and property development, this paper demonstrates possible roles for future methodologies in the mitigation of these issues. The conclusions to be drawn from this paper are that new innovative and creative methods will be needed to ensure neighbourhoods, towns, and regions accommodate growth in ways that are economically sound, environmentally responsible and socially supportive of community livability. The paper will conclude that achieving smarter land use will require a change in the current mind-set and will include encouraging brownfield redevelopment. This will result in greater usage of futures methods like Prospective as policy makers grasp the nettle and witness the benefits of adopting alternative modes of policy evaluation and implementation in landuse.