Assessing Future Resilience, Equity, and Sustainability in Scenario Planning

Marta Berbés-Blázquez, Arizona State University
Nancy B. Grimm, Arizona State University
Elizabeth M. Cook, Barnard College
David M. Iwaniec, Georgia State University
Tischa A. Muñoz-Erickson, USDA Forest Service
Vivian Hobbins, Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora
Darin Wahl, Lund University

Originally published in:

Berbés-Blázquez M. et al. (2021) Assessing Future Resilience, Equity, and Sustainability in Scenario Planning. In: Hamstead Z.A., Iwaniec D.M., McPhearson T., Berbés-Blázquez M., Cook E.M., Muñoz-Erickson T.A. (eds) Resilient Urban Futures. The Urban Book Series. Springer, Cham.


In the absence of strong international agreements, many municipal governments are leading efforts to build resilience to climate change in general and to extreme weather events in particular. However, it is notoriously difficult to guide and activate processes of change in complex adaptive systems such as cities. Participatory scenario planning with city professionals and members of civil society provides an opportunity to coproduce positive visions of the future. Yet, not all visions are created equal. In this chapter, we introduce the Resilience, Equity, and Sustainability Qualitative (RESQ) assessment tool that we have applied to compare positive scenario visions for cities in the USA and Latin America. We use the tool to examine the visions of the two desert cities in the Urban Resilience to Extreme Events Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN), which are Hermosillo (Mexico) and Phoenix (United States).