MIRAI 2.0 R&I Week 2023 

Envisioning post-pandemic urban development pathways

Ayyoob Sharifi, Professor, Hiroshima University
Agatino Rizzo , Chaired Professor, Luleå University of Technology ,
Prince Dacosta Aboagye, PhD student, Hiroshima University
Jing Ma, Associate Senior Lecturer, Luleå University of Technology
Ava Soroudi, PhD Student, Luleå University of Technology
Sustainability; Cities; Urban development; Scenario making; Climate change
Short workshop abstract:
The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged many cities around the world, disrupting normal urban life and interactions
(including interactions/linkages among people and between people and nature/technology). Given the impacts of
the pandemic, 2020 could be an inflection point and urban life could undergo significant structural changes in the
post-COVID era. The pandemic occurred at an important historical juncture when smart solutions and technologies
have become ubiquitous in many cities. Such technologies have made it more possible to do things virtually,
reducing the need for physical accessibility. In the meantime, for the first time in several decades, the
transportation sector is experiencing major changes such as increased uptake of autonomous vehicles and
emergence of new technologies such as Mobility as a Service (MaaS). These dramatic transformations and the
significant impacts of the pandemic on cities may have implications for urban lifestyle and affect interactions
among people and between people and the natural environment. In turn, these may influence future development
pathways , with implications for sustainability. Against this background, the broad objective of this workshop is to
examine how participants from Japan and Sweden envision post-pandemic urban development pathways. We will
employ a combination of backcasting and Q-methodology to envision the future of the area in a participatory
manner. The participants will be offered various statements that represent different future urban development
preferences and pathways. The Q methodology will allow an understanding of how the participants envision the
future of urban development.