RTTA 3/4: Futurescape City Tours

Collage of images from the Futurescape City Tours project

The Futurescape City Tours (FCT) are the next iteration of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society’s large-scale deliberative exercises.  In the fall of 2013, six different cities, including St.Paul, Portland, Phoenix, Springfield, Edmonton, and Washington, D.C., will host coordinated engagements in which citizens and stakeholders come together to deliberative about nanotechnology and its relationship to urban environments and sustainability. 

The Futurescape City Tours depends upon a set of methods that rely on citizen-driven agendas, the importance of place and materiality, the relevance of multiple timescapes, and the use of photography as a tool for deliberation. In the fall of 2012, the Center conducted a pilot in Phoenix led by Cynthia Selin, Kelly Campbell-Rawlings, and Kathryn de Ridder-Vignone in which 15 citizens participated in a three-part deliberative exercise, one of which was an all day walking tour of Phoenix.

During this tour, citizens used photography to document their visions of changes in the sociotechnical landscape.  They were asked to document places they saw the past persisting, the signs of the present, and the future emerging, paying particular attention to the role of technologies in these locations. In addition to the tour and photography, the pilot integrated  science and technology stakeholders and experts on solar energy, biofuels, transportation, water-use -topics the citizens chose- into a deliberative learning process.

Through the use of these alternative approaches to public engagement, the FCT aims to build capacities among participants to appreciate their role in the trade-offs, path dependencies, and choices which shape technologies and their urban landscape.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Kathryn de Ridder Vignone (kathryn.deriddervignone[at]asu[dot]edu.)