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Albuquerque Climate Change and Scenario Planning Pilot

Planning for a rapidly growing region like Albuquerque in an arid climate means addressing challenges of congestion, sprawl, energy use, vehicle emissions, and water scarcity exacerbated by climate change.

A unique partnership between federal agencies and the Mid-Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MRMPO), located in Albuquerque, NM, is embarking on a project to help the region address these intertwined challenges using the powerful analytical tool of scenario planning.

Scenario planning allows participants to consider the impacts of growth and evaluate the costs and benefits of various future scenarios.

The project will influence transportation and land use decision-making in the Albuquerque region by using scenario planning to analyze strategies to reduce carbon pollution and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

More specifically, the goals of the project are to:

  1. Advance climate analysis in scenario planning.The project will advance the use of scenario planning to analyze options such as expanded public transportation options, mitigating jobs-housing imbalance, and mixed-use compact development to reduce carbon pollution from transportation.The project will also advance the use of scenario planning to analyze the impacts of climate change effects such as heat waves, drought, and water scarcity.
  2. Impact decision-making. The MRMPO will use the results of the analysis in the development of its Metropolitan Transportation Plan, which guides investment of federal, state, and local funding for transportation investments.The project findings will be shared with local planning agencies and used in hazard mitigation plans. Finally, federal agencies that manage land in the region, such as the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will use the results in their management plans.
  3. Develop a transferrable process. The process developed and lessons learned through the project will be transferrable to other regions.
  4. Build partnerships. The project will build and strengthen partnerships between federal, state, local and tribal governments.

This project builds off of and complements an earlier scenario planning and climate change pilot in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This new project will undertake a more detailed climate change analysis than was conducted for the Cape Cod pilot. In addition, this new effort focuses on an inland area in order to explore impacts due to water scarcity, heat waves, wildfires, and extreme weather events.

The following federal agencies will provide funding and/or technical assistance to the project: Federal Highway Administration, US Department of Transportation Volpe Center, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service, US Forest Service, Federal Transit Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information, please see:

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/climate_change/adaptation/ongoing_and_current_research/

Updated: 03/27/2014
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