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Can We 'Future-Proof' San Antonio For 2035?

The Institute for Alternative Futures
Figure 1: IAF’s “Aspirational Futures” Technique";s:3:

A recent report details multiple possible scenarios for San Antonio's future through 2035, each accounting for different potential changes, disruptions and investments in human progress and human services. Can we craft an equitable, successful future for San Antonio in 2035 by building a “future-proof” model today?

Based on data-driven models, futurists at The Institute for Alternative Futures came up with four scenarios for San Antonio in 2035: two that are "Visionary," one "Expectable" and another "Challenging." Each tells a story about likely outcomes for the city based on what is prioritized in that particular scenario.

The IAF and its local community partners estimated the positive and negative outcomes of both natural forces like climate change and natural disasters, and human-made ones like federal policy related to family services, food security, housing and more.

What is the methodology for this kind of report? How is it possible to confidently posit future outcomes for a specific city? What San Antonio-specific factors are considered? What's the margin of error for these hypotheses?

What can we learn from San Antonio’s "Challenging" scenario? What worst possible outcomes does the report predict, if certain decisions are made?


How do the two "Visionary" scenarios differ and how could each be achieved? What can be done today to achieve the best possible outcomes 15 years from now?


  • Clement Bezold, Ph.D., founder and chairman of the board at the Institute for Alternative Futures
  • Molly Cox, president and CEO of SA2020
  • Lourdes Castro-Ramirez, president of the University Health System Foundation and leader of the Mayor's Housing Policy Task Force; former president and CEO of the San Antonio Housing Authority; former principal deputy secretary in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Kiran Bains, director of community impact for SA2020

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 210-614-8980, email thesource@tpr.org  or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Thursday, August 15.


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Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.