Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration
Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

FHWA Scenario Planning Guidebook


The purpose of this guidebook is to assist transportation agencies with carrying out a scenario planning process from start to finish. The guidebook presented the six key phases that practitioners are likely to encounter when applying a scenario planning technique.

While scenario planning can be implemented in many ways, the key elements of the technique include:

Each scenario planning process is unique. The specific topics or issues addressed will depend on the resources available and other factors. However, the six phases presented in this guidebook provide an overall structure for scenario planning, particularly at the regional level. Agencies can use this document to tailor an approach that meets their specific needs.

Since 2004, FHWA has encouraged scenario planning as a technique to help stakeholders understand the potential impacts of change on a state, region, community, or study area. FHWA offers numerous resources to assist transportation agencies with implementing the scenario planning technique, including guidance on scenario planning process steps as well as analysis tools and reports on innovative practices from around the country. FHWA has also offered peer-to-peer training workshops for interested agencies nationwide.

For additional resources or information on the FHWA scenario planning program or scenario planning technique, or to request a workshop, please see

Additional Resources
Practitioners interested in using the scenario planning technique may find the following resources useful:

Updated: 5/13/2014
HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000