Communities at the Crossroads: Using MetroQuest to Help Communities Create Consensus Around a Vision of the Future

Part of the Springer Geography book series (SPRINGERGEOGR)


This chapter describes an innovative tool and process, MetroQuest, for engaging non-expert stakeholders in a meaningful way in the discussion and process of long-range planning for cities and regions. Rooted in participatory scenario-based backcasting approaches to sustainability research that blend quantitative and qualitative analysis MetroQuest enables a broader and richer engagement program than is the norm, as described and explored via two case studies. In both Fort St. John, British Columbia and Chicago, Illinois MetroQuest allowed planning professionals and stakeholder engagement facilitators to create rich discussions via group workshops, that were complemented with individual engagement experiences delivered via web and kiosk. The chapter discusses the successes and shortcomings of this approach.


Stakeholder engagement Regional planning Backcasting Sustainability 



The authors would like to thank those who have contributed to the creation, implementation, and analysis of the MetroQuest model. This includes the team at Envision Sustainability Tools, the original creators of QUEST, Dave Biggs and Dr. John Robinson, researchers at the Geological Survey of Canada, Sonia Talwar, researchers at the University of British Columbia Meg O’Shea, and many others. Equally important are the contributors to the case studies, including the staff and elected officials from the City of Fort St. John and the entire GOTO2040 team at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MetroQuestVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Environmental Change InstituteUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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