chapter  11
Projecting alternative futures
Pages 17

The future is uncertain and exploring uncertainties is one of the most diffi cult of all the planning processes. Planners and forecasters have become so bound up in a modern sense of linear time that the future is too often described as stretching from the present in a relatively consistent line of upward progress or downward failure. That is, the future is described as a line from the present based on trends that stretch directly from the past. This belief, partly a self-confi rming one, is true enough (and therefore wrong enough) to be completely misleading. Metrics-based trajectories from the past to the present are only one indication of possible futures.