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Regional Planning Workflows in the UrbanSim Cloud Platform
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Regional Planning Workflows in the UrbanSim Cloud Platform

Regional Planning Workflows in the UrbanSim Cloud Platform

58 min
Credit: AICP CM

This course is approved for 1 AICP CM Credit.

At the end of this course, participants will understand the basic land use forecasting workflows that can be completed using the UrbanSim Cloud Platform, as illustrated by a set of case studies. In this course, we use the platform to complete forecast-related workflows related to tracking and inserting development projects, inputting development constraint information, composing scenarios, evaluating simulation results, and comparing differences between scenarios and over time. Examples in this course will be drawn from the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, and participants are encouraged to follow along with a trial instance of the platform. 

Pre-requisites: Introduction to the UrbanSim Cloud Platform Course.

In This Course

  1. Sam Blanchard introduces the course.
  2. The UrbanSim Cloud Platform gives Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) in the United States the ability to immediately start simulating their region using UrbanSim. This chapter demonstrates how to launch a simulation in the user interface right "out of the box" and view indicators generated by that simulation. Indicators are sets of useful variables exported at block, block group, tract, and TAZ level for each simulation. These indicators can be visualized on the map and themed based on any of a standard set of variables.
  3. The UrbanSim Cloud Platform can be used to analyze the impact of land use regulations. Scenarios can be composed with different land use policies in place. The scenarios can be simulated, and then the results can be compared to see how alternative policies influence the spatial pattern of urban growth. This chapter describes how to use the platform to evaluate the impact of regulatory actions such as upzonings near transit or development restrictions in environmentally sensitive areas.
  4. Urban analysts sometimes need to assess the impact of major new development, for example the emergence of an employment subcenter or the establishment of a new university campus. New concentrations of activity can facilitate local agglomeration economies and spur the clustering of future growth. This chapter gives an overview of how to use the UrbanSim Cloud Platform to model the impact of major new developments, which can be incorporated into a baseline scenario or alternative scenarios.
  5. One of the primary purposes of UrbanSim is to assist in the evaluation of transportation infrastructure projects. The model is sensitive to accessibility, so when new infrastructure alters accessibility patterns, predicted patterns of growth are influenced. This chapter discusses how to construct scenarios related to changes in transportation infrastructure and how to use the platform to gauge potential impact.
  6. The UrbanSim Cloud Platform can be used to assess the spatial impact of alternative assumptions about future regional growth. For example, a scenario can be defined assuming rapid regional growth, or a separate scenario can be defined assuming tepid regional growth. Region-level conditions can also be specified in detail. For example, aggregate demographic or employment characteristics can be applied in scenarios. This chapter guides the user in modeling the impact of alternative macro assumptions and discusses the input tables and uploaders that help achieve this end.
  7. The platform aims to make it straightforward to incorporate local expertise and community feedback into a land use forecast. This chapter surveys the ways users can incorporate local feedback into the platform using the developments, constraints, and adjustments features.

Published 2017