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Table 1 The guiding questions for each step in the backcasting study

From: Generating a vision for smart sustainable cities of the future: a scholarly backcasting approach

Questions for backcasting steps Methods
Step 1: Detail strategic problem orientation (part 1) Study design and problem formulation
1. What is the socio-technical system to be studied?
2. What are the aim, purpose, and objectives of the futures study in relation to this system?
3. What are the long–term targets declared by the goal-oriented backcasting approach?
4. What are the goals of sustainability these targets are translated to for scenario analysis?
Step 2: Detail strategic problem orientation (part 2) Trend analysis and problem analysis
1. What are the key trends and expected developments related to the socio-technical system to be studied?
2. What are the major problems, issues, and challenges of sustainability and the underlying causes—the current situation?
3. How is the problem defined and what are the possible problem perceptions?
Step 3: Generate a sustainable future vision Creativity method
1. What are the demands (terms of reference) for the future vision?
2. How does the future sustainable socio-technical system and need fulfillment look like?
3. How is the future vision different from the existing socio-technical systems?
4. What is the rationale for developing the future vision?
5. Which sustainability problems, issues, and challenges have been solved
6. or mitigated by meeting the stated objectives and thus achieving the specified targets and goals?
7. Which advanced technologies and their novel applications have been
8. used in the future vision?
Step 4: Conduct empirical research Case study method
1. What category of case studies is most relevant to the future vision?
2. How many case studies are to be conducted and what kind of phenomena do they intend to illuminate?
3. What is the rationale for the methodological approach adopted?
4. To what extent can this empirical research generate new ideas and serve to illustrate the theories and their effects underlying the future vision so as to underpin its potential and practicality?
Step 5: Specify and merge the components of the socio-technical system to be developed Creativity method
1. What specific design concepts, planning practices, and technology elements are necessary?
2. What kind of urban centers and labs are necessary?
3. What spatial dimensions and scale stabilizations should be considered?
4. How can all of the ingredients be integrated into a model for strategic smart sustainable city planning and development?
Step 6: Perform backcasting backward-looking analysis Backcasting analysis
1. What urban and technological changes are necessary for achieving the future vision?
2. What structural, institutional, and regulatory changes are necessary?
3. How have the necessary changes been realized and what stakeholders are necessary?
4. What are the opportunities, potentials, benefits, and other effects of the future vision?