Future of the Built Environment

RT-360 Topic Summary
RT 360


CII sought to expand its portfolio of research topics by identifying and proactively studying potentially disruptive strategic issues. CII challenged Research Team 360 (RT-360) to develop potential futures of the build environment using scenario planning. The researchers analyzed scenarios to identify potentially disruptive strategic issues and thus craft a portfolio of future-based research topics.
This project used the 2x2 uncertainty scenario planning approach, a tool that frames scenarios around the two elements that are most important and uncertain for the future of a topic. The idea is to spend time thinking about which factors are crucial to the future – especially those with least clarity or vision of how they might play out. The resulting scenarios create a landscape of plausible future developments or outcomes. The possible futures surfaced by this investigation give CII the ability to anticipate potentially disruptive strategic emerging issues, whether they be threats or opportunities.
The potential research topics resulting from this project fed the development of overarching programs by the CII Funded Studies Committee (FSC), and the FSC proposed these programs to the CII Board of Advisors in April 2019. These programs are used to drive innovation and set research priorities.

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : Drivers of Change

RT-360 identified 16 drivers of change, based on the following definitions of what a driver is:

  • A driver is a key theme shaping the future of a topic.
  • A driver is a thematic cluster of related changes identified by the research and horizon scanning as driving or shaping significant change in the domain.
  • A driver encompasses cross-cutting changes that should be central considerations during strategy development.

For this project, the RT-360 researchers organized the drivers into three types, aligned to match the three plausible futures shown in the figure.

Reference: (FR-360)

2 : Recommended Research Portfolio

RT-360 identified 10 potential research projects and classified them into three thematic areas:

  1. How We Do Business
  2. Technology
  3. The Environment

The table shows an issue addressed by each research option.

Reference: (FR-360)

Key Performance Indicators

Research Publications

The Future of the Built Environment - FR-360

Publication Date: 05/2019 Type: Final Report Pages: 15 Status: Reference