Sacramento Area Council of Governments, CA Blueprint
Many scenario planning tools have been developed to respond to regional growth challenges, and thus are particularly well suited to planning at a large scale. Metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) tend to use these tools to encompass a geography beyond individual cities and counties. Examples include regional transportation plans (RTPs), integrated regional land use and transportation plans, regional visioning, and plans to reach GHG reduction targets. Scenario planning tools are frequently linked with other models operated by MPOs, such as economic models, transportation models, and infrastructure models.
In 2003, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) launched an award-winning regional growth analysis called Blueprint. The analysis of six counties is based on a broad partnership of regional stakeholders including employers, developers, investors, the press, special interest groups, and citizens. I-PLACE3S, an Internet-based planning tool, was used to help SACOG work with elected officials and the public in dozens of interactive planning workshops. I-PLACE3S was used during the workshops to provide real-time information about how different growth alternatives would affect the region's transportation system, air quality, housing, and natural resource protection, among other issues. Output from I-PLACE3S was also used as input to the SACOG regional travel model to estimate the impact of land use alternatives on travel and the transportation network. The result was a preferred Blueprint Scenario that is used by SACOG with I-PLACE3S as a comparative scenario to review development proposals for its member agencies.
I-PLACE3S (Planning for Community Energy, Economic, and Environmental Sustainability) is a software tool that facilitates integrated land use and transportation scenario planning. This web-based platform creates land use and transportation scenarios, conducts detailed scenario analysis, and engages the public in a workshop setting. Scenarios are developed using place types based on user-generated assumptions. The tool has around 100 evaluation indicators, including total jobs and dwelling units, density by land use type, a mix of uses (defined by land use type), economic feasibility (ROI), vehicle miles traveled and vehicle trips per household, and change in walk/bike and transit mode shares. This information can examined for each scenario in a report or exported to regional travel models.
Additional information on this case study:
Opening Access to Scenario Planning Tools (Policy Focus Report)
Issue: Scenario Planning Processes
Community Type: Urban
Location: Grand Junction, CO
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