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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

New Trends in Transportation and Land Use Scenario Planning

I. Background

This report summarizes important findings from a literature review on scenario planning processes and a scan of stakeholders. It also presents case studies on innovative, 'next generation' scenario planning efforts. The project team defined next generation scenario planning efforts as those that seek to capture a broader range of issues and challenges than previously considered in transportation and land use scenario creation and analysis. The purpose of the report is to identify key issues and practices to provide direction for future scenario planning workshops.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Planning sponsors scenario planning workshops for staff of metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), state Departments of Transportation (DOTs), and other transportation agencies. The workshops have been offered around the country since 2004. FHWA now seeks to update the workshop agenda and workshop content to highlight new best practices and show how scenario planning can address emerging challenges facing state DOTs, MPOs, and other transportation agencies.

In support of this effort, the Volpe Center:

  1. Conducted a brief literature review and scan of key stakeholders to identify recent trends in transportation planning (particularly long-range transportation planning) at transportation agencies, focusing on MPOs. Chapter 2 details the trends findings from this review and scan. The trends are grouped into three categories: 1) regional development, 2) risks, and 3) reporting.
  2. Conducted a literature review and scan of key stakeholders to identify recent scenario planning processes at transportation agencies, focusing on MPOs, which address the recent planning trends.
  3. Documented through case studies innovative scenario planning efforts at five transportation agencies (see Appendix C). Chapter 3 provides a brief summary of each case study. Chapter 4 outlines the key findings.

The scan of trends and review of scenario planning practices conducted were not intended to be an exhaustive review. Rather, the scan and review sought to identify key issues and practices to provide direction for future workshops.

Updated: 5/9/2014
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