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Connecting Scenario Approaches with Scenario Tools


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During the 2017 National Regional Transportation Conference, Ian Varley provided case study examples from City Explained, LLC's work using scenario analysis.

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Connecting Scenario Approaches with Scenario Tools

  1. 1. Connecting Scenario Approaches with Scenario Tools National Regional Transportation Conference Denver, CO ― June 28, 2017 Ian Varley, MEM City Explained, Inc.
  2. 2. ― A Very Quick Introduction ―
  3. 3. Why Scenarios? A scenario’s function: - Van der Heijden (1996) - Scenarios describe what the future could be rather than what it will be. - Schwartz (1996) - Scenarios are tools that “aim to stretch thinking about the future and widen the range of alternatives considered”. - The Battle of Dorking (1871)
  4. 4. Why Scenarios? “We use scenario planning as a way to address uncertainty in our future forecasts. Money for transportation is tight. We look at all our planned transportation infrastructure improvements, and if they improve the network in all scenarios, we feel much more confident about making the investment.” —Craig T. Casper, AICP PPACG Regional Transportation Director
  5. 5. Seeing into the Future…
  6. 6. Purpose & Applications Planning Tools People & Process
  7. 7. Planning Tools
  8. 8. Scenario Planning Tools
  9. 9. CommunityViz Software What is it? A decision support software that evaluates competing future growth scenarios under consideration by a community or region (functioning as an extension of ArcGIS). • Decision Support Apps • Open Structure: Ties to ArcGIS, Regional Travel Demand Models (CUBE or TransCAD), Custom Models • Algorithmic Model & Geodesign Enabled • Various Spreadsheet Input / Output Tools (Microsoft Excel) • 3D Visualization Software (Scenario 3D Analyst)
  10. 10. CommunityViz Software CommunityViz - used in over 30 universities and in over 45 academic studies
  11. 11. Version 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.0 1998 2001 20052.1 2.2 2.3 2.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.0 Version 2 Version 3 Version 4 4.4 Esri Regional New Partner of the Year 2003 Desktop Extension of the Year 2011 2011 5.0Version 5 2015 5.1 Today City Explained, Inc.
  12. 12. So Many Applications GHG Modeling Watershed Plans Conservation Decision Support Infrastructure Investment Strategy Long Range Transportation Plans Comprehensive Plans Fiscal Impact Analysis Site Selection Analysis STEM Education for Youth Military JLUS Studies
  13. 13. Purpose & Applications
  14. 14. Scenario Family Tree Algorithmic Models • Deterministic or microsimulation model approach, • Often complex, typically require specialized staff • Data intensive Geodesign • People driven, modeling takes a secondary role as metrics • Very scalable (as complicated as you want them to be) • Intentional: more directly linked to a desired outcome
  15. 15. Geodesign Activities
  16. 16. The Secret Ingredient? Fun.
  17. 17. Algorithm Driven Scenarios
  18. 18. Bottom-Up Modeling Development Status Assignments Land Suitability Analysis Calculations Capacity & Build-Out Estimates Growth Allocation LSA measures the attractiveness of individual parcels to accommodate new development. Physical features prevalent in the study area were layered on a parcel map, and calculations performed to determine either percent overlap or physical proximity (as appropriate) for each of the physical features in relation to the individual parcels. A numeric score between 0 – 100 was used to rank parcels in the study area from least- to most- suitable for development. Growth allocation was performed using build-out potential and land suitability statistics calculated for parcels in the study area. Place types were used to describe land use and urban form characteristics in the study area. Build-out potential estimates the development yield for each parcel based on it’s assigned development status, place type, & values assumed in the general development lookup table. Values generated for build-out potential become the ‘supply’ for allocating future year growth in the study area. The assignment of development status to parcels in CommuntyViz tells the model which set of equations to use for estimating development yield (build-out potential), and whether new growth is allowed in the parcel. Constraints Analysis The area of a parcel identified with one or more development constraints (e.g., SWIM buffers, recorded easements, etc.). These areas are ‘off the table’ for allocating new growth in subsequent phases of the model.
  19. 19. The Options Are Nearly Limitless – Hybrid Process
  20. 20. People & Process
  21. 21. Data Requirements 80% 20% 20% 80% Readily Available Data Newly Created Data Time Spent Collecting Readily Available Data Time Spent Creating New Data
  22. 22. Communicating Scenario Processes • Visuals – Renderings – Maps – Infographics – Online tools • Concepts over numbers “I’m a numbers guy and these aren’t my numbers”
  23. 23. Give It To Me Straight… Do I need a consultant? Sometimes. Do I need a dedicated staff person or persons? Usually. Will I need to ask questions and do research? Always. Where do I start if I’m thinking about doing this? Talk to people who have done it.
  24. 24. Keeping Scenario Processes Manageable • Focus like a panther: identify your objectives and pursue them • Sometimes less is more • Encourage regular communicating with staff and stakeholders • When communicating with the public, make it as simple as you can, then try and make it simpler
  25. 25. Thank You! Ian Varley