Economic Development Research Group Blog

Dispatches from the Consortium for Scenario Planning 2019 Conference

sm_blog_photo Scott presenting EDR Group’s work on exploratory scenario planning in the Hampton Roads region.
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Scenario planning – a flexible and indispensable methodology for considering alternative futures and identifying appropriate planning responses – is a growing area of practice for EDR Group. As we explain in our Emerging Topic page on scenario planning , it is a useful tool for guiding infrastructure investment plans in the face of uncertainty related to sea level rise, technology adoption, economic growth, and just about any uncertain factor you can imagine. In light of our experience in scenario planning, last week I participated in the Consortium for Scenario Planning Conference in Hartford, Connecticut. Along with my co-presenter Chris McCahill (Deputy Director of the State Smart Transportation Initiative at the University of Wisconsin–Madison), I led a session entitled Transportation Scenarios: Performance Metrics for Planning . Our session addressed how performance metrics help planners 1) understand the complex connections between transportation and land use and 2) measure the performance of different investments...
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Change is the Only Constant: Incorporating Technology into Scenario Planning

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Departments of transportation increasingly use scenario planning to prepare for future changes that will affect the movement of people and goods. Scenario planning requires planners to prepare for a range of possible futures, considering topics like climate change, demographics, and emerging technology. Technological change is perhaps the most difficult issue to address given the wide uncertainty surrounding new mobility and the number of private operators involved in transportation. EDR Group is currently working with the Texas Department of Transportation to help them adjust their travel modeling practices to account for emerging technologies. Our work considers the role of autonomous vehicles and teleworking on passenger vehicle and transit trip generation, as well as impacts on long-distance freight travel and local goods delivery. We consider these impacts under an expected scenario and optimistic scenarioboth with a 2045 horizon year.     Source: Next Generation Scenario Planning: A Transportation Practitioner’s Guide, June 2017, FHWA,...
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