In the face of a changing climate, many cities are engaged in adaptation planning and are using participatory workshops to involve stakeholders in these initiatives. Different tools are being used to structure the process and content of participatory planning workshops, but it is unclear what effect the tools have on the workshops and their results. We evaluated three different tools (Group Model Building, the Adaptation Support Tool, and the Stress Test Guideline) and a tool-free approach in repeated simulated workshops, to observe and compare (1) the way workshops played out, and (2) the direct outcomes that were achieved. Tools appear to influence both aspects. Specifically, we measured differences in the learning effects in groups, in the development of shared understanding within groups, in the types of plans that are developed by groups, and in the nature of participation during the workshops. Further research is needed to translate these results into practice, but this is a first step in advancing knowledge about the influence of tools in participatory planning activities.
- Participatory planning
- Planning support tool
- Resilient cities
- Stakeholder engagement
- Urban adaptation planning practice