Skip to main content

Table 4 Selected wild cards developed by experts and citizens

From: Developing disruptive mobility scenarios for rural areas. Participatory mobility scenario building in a Belgian village for the year 2050

Category Citizen/expert Description of wild card Level of imaginability (1- very unimaginable, 5- very imaginable)
Political Expert Private vehicles are banned
Radical political parties view private vehicles as a source of inequality and ban them. Public transport is the only transport mode available
Bike lanes are delayed
A car-obsessed governmental majority delays the implementation of bike lanes
The end of Belgium
Belgium dissolves and Flanders becomes independent. A wall is built between Brussels and Flanders, affecting commuting
The EU collapses
Ambitions for climate change move to the background as more local problems need solving
Building new houses in rural areas is no longer allowed 3,38
Citizen Mobility between Oetingen and Brussels becomes much easier
The increased attractiveness of Oetingen poses a threat to the village atmosphere
One-way streets
All of traffic in Oetingen becomes one-way for cars
Internal combustion engines are banned 4,33
Economic Expert Decrease in funds for road maintenance due to inflation
Massive inflation of the euro leads to insufficient funds for road maintenance
Economic crisis
The village economy collapses, leading to high unemployment, closed shops, and citizens leaving
An economic hub develops close to the village
This increases the attractiveness of the village and causes an influx of younger, non-Belgian people
A railway line is built through the village 3,04
Universal basic income
Universal basic income makes paid labour less necessary, thereby diminishes commuting needs
Increasing energy prices
Oil becomes scarce and electricity prices are impacted by the closure of nuclear power plants
Increased peri-urbanisation
Economic activity is located outside city centres in larger industrial zones, making it necessary to leave the city to shop
Public transport becomes less reliable and more expensive
Financial difficulties at the public transport operator. The difficulties lead to a decrease in bus lines and an increase of ticket prices
The public transport market is opened to competition 4,21
Explosion of the gig-economy
Market liberalism results in more freelancing jobs. This causes everyone to have completely different mobility patterns
Explosion of home deliveries
Deliveries lead to unsustainable transport. When demand is too high, some areas will not get home deliveries
Retirement is impossible
Nobody can retire anymore because of the economic aftermath of COVID-19. New types of jobs will be introduced for the elderly, and the relationship with work changes for everyone
One economic crisis per decade
Three more economic crises between now and 2050 (every 10 years), with their consequences for transport demand
Bitcoin millionaires buy up houses
Rise of the bitcoin economy upturns the economic system and changes poor-rich relationships. People made rich from bitcoin start buying up houses in Oetingen
Social Expert Civil unrest drastically reduces transport demand
Civil chaos in all of Belgium makes people avoid traveling at all costs. People are afraid to use public transport or shared mobility. They are also afraid to walk or cycle in public spaces. Only when really necessary do people travel, in private vehicles
Population decreases due to an increase in heat waves, leading to low population density in the village 3,00
Health issues caused by teleworking increases pressure on health care
Increasing health issues related to teleworking, leaving people unable to bike. There is therefore an increasing need to get to hospitals for medical check-ups
Urban exodus
Increasing age and income gap, enhancing the rural and urban divide. Cities will become less sustainable and qualitative, leading to an exodus to the countryside
Urban living becomes very expensive
Cities become the only liveable places where proximity is still possible, so they become very expensive
Increased housing mobility
The elderly move around more and adapt their houses to their needs at a moment in time. People move out faster, so existing housing empties up for new families, but there generally is also a lower demand for traditional housing
Collapse of the pension system
The collapse of the pension system leads to increased poverty among the elderly, who cannot afford to travel and to house themselves
Radiation fears cause exodus
Growing fear about radiation emitted by the VUB photonics research centre in Oetingen results in people abandoning their houses
Citizen No more need for drivers' licenses because of autonomous vehicles 3,46
Teleworking replaces all office jobs 4,25
Decreased social capital in the village and increasing individualisation from citizens
Social activities in the village and social links between villagers are reduced due to less engagement from the next generations
People live longer and more qualitative lives
You're considered old after 85 and the future elderly are in better health than the 85 + today. People remain at home longer and do not go to nursing homes. This increases the need to make all public infrastructure accessible
Technological Expert Virtual reality replaces real life
The need for transportation is reduced drastically
Power shortages due to increased electrification
The grid cannot supply the demand
Artificial intelligence solves all mobility problems 2,25
Basic infrastructure is disrupted due to internet shutdowns caused by hackers or natural disasters 3,63
Global shortages of raw materials for smart and connected applications 4,08
Smart technologies are deemed unsafe due to hacks and weaponization 3,63
Safety issues related to data as a commodity (like cameras, etc.) 4,17
Home deliveries via underground tubes
An underground tube transport system allows for home deliveries
Endless and cheap energy supply
Energy sources like fusion energy increase energy supply, thereby allowing for travelling without bad conscience
Energy crisis results in mobility poverty
Fossils fuels are depleted and the supply of energy from renewable sources doesn't meet the demand. This leads to increased mobility poverty due to an inability to travel as well as an increased reliance on public transport
Oetingen becomes android-free
Human-like robots (i.e., androids) are everywhere, but are increasingly hated by society. Oetingen declares itself an android-free zone, thereby becoming a walled-in community
Citizen Autonomous vehicles are parked outside the village 3,63
Home deliveries are only done via drones 3,21
All bike parkings have charging infrastructure 4,42
Environmental Expert The ground below Oetingen becomes unstable
The instability destroys above ground infrastructure and makes it almost impossible to build above ground
Destruction of the ozone layer
People cannot walk outside without protective clothing
Meteorites destroy Oetingen
People live in shelters
Walking and cycling impossible due to heat waves
People only travel using airconditioned transport modes
Extreme climate change
Low temperatures in winter, high temperatures in summer
Changed landscapes: energy production replaces food production
The demand for energy is higher than the demand for food
Expert & Citizen The village is regularly under water due to flooding 3,17
Oetingen becomes a holiday destination due to warmer weather 2,33