How to Design Your Scenario Planning Process

PAS Memo — July-August 2019

By Janae Futrell, AICP



Is scenario planning a tool in your planning toolbox? Scenario planning is a valuable and versatile technique that planners can use to navigate uncertainty or pinpoint a preferred combination of variables to reach a specific target. It can be used to help define plan organization, generate ideas or insights for more detailed planning work, or focus in on a component of a larger planning process.

Scenario planning activities can support a wide range of planning efforts, including visioning, long-range transportation plans, climate change action plans, and many others. But what should a scenario planning process look like?

The July/August 2019 PAS Memo offers a step-by-step primer on designing a scenario planning process, guiding planners through direction setting, approach development, and roadmap creation. It includes a scenario planning process design workbook to help planners create a roadmap for their own scenario planning efforts.


Page Count
Date Published
July 1, 2019
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Author

Janae Futrell, AICP
Janae Futrell, AICP, LEED AP, a city planner and architectural designer, is the founder of a consulting business, Civic, and a nonprofit, Prior to these initiatives, she worked with the City of Atlanta, Atlanta Regional Commission, John Portman and Associates, and nonprofits such the International Federation of the Red Cross, Caritas Germany, and the Earthquakes and Megacities Initiative. She has worked in Haiti, Netherlands, Philippines, and the US. Janae received a B.B.A. from Lambuth University, a M.S. in Architecture from Georgia Tech, and a M.S. in Urban Development and International Cooperation from the Technische Universität, Darmstadt, Germany.