Pilot: Phoenix 2012

Last Updated: June 25, 2013

Futurescape City Tours (FCT) is the next iteration of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society’s large-scale deliberative exercise in which citizens and stakeholders come together to deliberative about nanotechnology and its relation to urban environments and sustainability.

The Futurescape City Tours depends upon a set of methods that take rely upon citizen-driven agendas, the importance of the urban landscape, 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 where 15 citizens participated in a three-part deliberative exercise, one of which was an all day walking tour of Phoenix where they used photography to document their visions of changes to 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 into the tour key 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.