Keywords: scenario planning, strategic planning, uncertainty, robust decision making, energy transition, sustainable development, sustainability, infrastructure design, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, alternative use, land use, oil refineries, ports
Planning for an uncertain future: a case study
Without constant adaption, infrastructures tend to have a limited useful lifetime. This is because the demands placed on them as to function and use, are constantly changing. Through creating scenarios of alternate futures, it is possible to get insights into future opportunities and threats. Only then, it is possible to design infrastructure suitable for now as well as for a long–term future. This approach is given the name scenario planning. In this paper, we illustrate this approach through use of a case study. The expectation is, that as global oil reserves diminish, and oil trade patterns change, some refineries in Europe may close down. In the Port of Rotterdam some (valuable) sites may become available, and can be put to alternate uses. The objective of the case study is to plan for a new function of such a site, which is suitable for the given location, is in line with the port vision and goals, and above all, a robust choice in any future that materialises.