Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
Learn more about the FHWA/FTA scenario planning program and see examples from a typical Federally sponsored scenario planning workshop.
Scenario planning is an analytical tool that can help transportation professionals prepare for what lies ahead. Scenario planning provides a framework for developing a shared vision for the future by analyzing various forces (e.g., health, transportation, economic, environmental, land use, etc.) that affect growth. Scenario planning, which can be done at the statewide level or for metropolitan regions, tests various future alternatives that meet state and community needs. A defining characteristic of successful public sector scenario planning is that it actively involves the public, the business community, and elected officials on a broad scale, educating them about growth trends and trade-offs, and incorporating their values and feedback into future plans.
To strengthen public participation in the planning and project delivery process and specifically to aid the public in understanding proposed plans, SAFETEA-LU calls for States and MPOs to use visualization techniques. Through visual imagery, the complex character of proposed transportation plans, policies and programs can be portrayed at appropriate scales — state, region, local area, project architecture, etc. and from different points of view.