This Workshop used the scenario planning approach to establish four plausible outcomes for the watershed. Scenario planning seeks to open discussions about how things may unfold, providing the opportunity for individuals and organizations to look beyond their individual plans and concerns for the future.
The scenarios were created around an axis meant to delineate four combinations of two circumstances: the state of the national economy and regional governance and cohesion.
Based on the axis, four scenario teams were established to represent each of the four combinations. The four teams are Green Phoenix, Factions Speak Louder than Words, The Queen is Dead, and Kindness in Crisis. Each team created a statement of conditions of the Watershed in 2030, with differing outcomes depending on the scenario’s particular position on the axis The baseline scenario team looked to 2020 and assumed no change in current conditions over the next ten years.
Baseline Scenario: Assumes a static condition and linear projection of trends in the Mill Creek Watershed, including continued sprawl and traffic congestion, environmental degradation, economic instability, and disconnected political governance.
Green Phoenix: Regional governance and cohesion combined with improving economic conditions. This scenario is characterized by the creation of a centralized government in Hamilton County, along with increasing population resulting from green industry investment. Further positives include improved education and declining poverty.
Factions Speak Louder than Words: Lack of regional governance and cohesion combined with improving economic conditions. In this scenario, strong economic growth at first conceals the detrimental effects of lacking cooperation among municipalities. Eventually, limited economic growth and civil unrest are the results.
The Queen is Dead: Lack of regional governance and cohesion combined with worsening economic conditions. This scenario is characterized by negative trends in the economy, transportation, the environment, and social progress. Physical evidence of this downturn is seen in the degradation of urban infrastructure and continued environmental decline.
Kindness in Crisis: Regional governance and cohesion combined with worsening economic conditions. In this case, individuals, communities and city government are brought together by a troubled economy in an effort to create a sustainable future for the Mill Creek Watershed.
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