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The following report summarizes a scenario planning workshop in East Lansing, Michigan. The workshop was a one-day technical session that preceded the 34th Annual Michigan Transportation Association Conference. The workshop provided an overview of scenario planning and shared examples from agencies nationwide that have implemented the technique. Event participants discussed general scenario planning process steps as well as analysis tools for developing, analyzing, and evaluating scenarios. Also discussed were potential challenges and benefits, possible outcomes from scenario planning, success factors, and lessons learned.
During the workshop, speakers from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Planning and the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Volpe Center provided participants with an overview of scenario planning and general process steps. A peer speaker from the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization (CCMPO) in Burlington, Vermont, detailed that agency's use of scenario planning to develop and update long-range transportation plans. A speaker from the FHWA Resource Center described analysis tools to assess scenarios and provided examples. Several breakout sessions facilitated dialogue about important economic, demographic, and other trends in Michigan, as well as impacts on transportation and other factors (e.g., land use). These sessions also provided opportunities for participants to discuss concerns and questions related to scenario planning, ideas for getting started, and possible next steps to continue ongoing efforts. See Appendix A for a list of key contacts and the workshop agenda.
The FHWA Michigan Division Office, Michigan DOT (MDOT), and the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission in Lansing, Michigan, co-hosted the workshop in East Lansing. Event invitees included staff from FHWA, Michigan DOT, ten of Michigan's MPOs and Councils of Government (COGs), and representatives from the City of Kalamazoo, Delta Township, Oshemo Township, and Indian Trails, Inc./Michigan Flyer. See Appendix B for a complete list of speakers and invitees.