Southern California Association of Governments, CA Conceptual Land Use Scenario
The Conceptual Land Use Scenario (CLUS) was developed for Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) in response to the passage of Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32), which requires California to reduce statewide carbon emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020, and Senate Bill 375 (SB 375), which calls for coordinated, regional land use and transportation planning to help reduce the state's total carbon emissions. Because the region had to go beyond existing policy to meet the anticipated carbon emissions reduction target, SCAG decided to explore how far land use planning could go toward reducing regional vehicle miles traveled. SCAG used Envision Tomorrow to isolate specific land use planning principles known to reduce trips—such as increased density, mixed land uses, and focused growth around transit areas—to evaluate how such changes might impact transportation patterns and reduce regional emissions.
Developed by Fregonese Associates, Envision Tomorrow is a Microsoft Excel and ArcGIS-based modeling and evaluation tool that analyses growth and development scenarios at a range of scales from neighborhood to regionasoutherl. It utilizes several components to develop and evaluate land use scenarios. Components of the tool have the capability to design buildings and site plans and test their physical and financial feasibility at a local level. It can be used to estimate the physical and financial feasibility of a proposed development or existing development regulations based on a range of factors including parking, height and use requirements, costs associated with construction, fees, rents, and subsidies. An Excel-based scenario spreadsheet is dynamically linked to the tool and maintains the scenario outputs such as housing mix in a series of tabs for quick comparison. Changes made to a scenario are automatically reported in the spreadsheet for instant monitoring. Users can focus on small areas for detailed design control or zoom to a larger scenario with the small area changes intact. Detailed scenario results are exportable and reportable at any geography. It does not include an internal travel model, but is frequently used in conjunction with an external travel model.
Many scenario planning tools have been developed to respond to regional growth challenges, and thus are particularly well suited to planning on 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. The tools are frequently linked with other models operated by MPOs, such as economic models, transportation models, and infrastructure models.
Additional information on this case study:
Opening Access to Scenario Planning Tools (Policy Focus Report)
Learn more about Envision Tomorrow
White Paper: SCAG Conceptual Land Use Scenario
Issue: Scenario Planning Processes
Community Type: Urban
Location: Southern California, CA
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