Educational Meeting: Use of GIS for Sustainable Planning and Smart Growth

  • Thursday, September 23, 2010
  • 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  • MTC


  • Special price for members

Registration is closed
Metropolitan Transportation Commission MTC


Title:    The UPlan Urban Growth Model

Dr. Bob Johnston
UC Davis

UPlan is a simple rule based urban growth model intended for regional or county level modeling. The needed space for each land use type is calculated from simple demographics and assigned based on the net attractiveness of locations to that land use (based on user input), locations unsuitable for any development and a general plan that determines where specific types of development are permitted. UPlan runs in ArcGIS9 and over a dozen California counties have used it, as well as the Philadelphia Municipal Planning Oragnization (MPO).  Some agencies run it alone, to test future growth policies, and some run it with their travel model, to test Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) scenarios. The newest version of UPlan also allows users to calculate on-road Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions as well as energy use and GHGs in buildings.  Prof. Johnston will describe how the model works and then go through two case studies, a typical countywide scenario process, and a multi-county process where the San Joaquin Valley MPOs modeled growth scenarios together.

Title:    Vision California: Developing new geospatial tools for modeling growth and development impacts

Joe Distefano, Principal
Garlynn Woodsong, Project Coordinator
Calthorpe Associates

Vision California is an unprecedented effort to explore the role of land use and transportation investments in meeting the environmental, fiscal, and public health challenges facing California over the coming decades. It is developing and modeling different scenarios for how California can accommodate expected population and employment growth out to 2050. Commissioned by the California High Speed Rail Authority and California Strategic Growth Council, the project is developing and deploying powerful new geospatial and scenario development tools custom-built by Calthorpe Associates to assess scenarios for a wide range of metrics, including land consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, travel behavior, public health impacts, energy use, water consumption and fiscal impacts.

Title:    Evaluating the “walkability” and “bikability” of communities using GIS:  Tools for informing Smart Growth and Public Health Assessments

Brian Fulfrost
Associate Principal
Design, Community and Environment (DC&E)

The growth and availability of GIS and other geospatial tools (e.g. Google Earth, Bing Maps) have recently expanded the analysis capabilities of planners and urban designers. These tools are rapidly becoming invaluable tools to map and model the built environment as a component of the local and regional landscapes in an effort to develop “smarter” and more environmentally and socially sustainable communities. GIS and other geospatial tools are currently being used to evaluate and improve the “walkability”(and bikable) of communities, to map the relationship between the built environment (e.g. access to food, services and open space) and public health outcomes (e.g. obesity levels), to model land use and transportation impacts on GHG emissions and to help promote infill development. Planners have recently begun to use GIS based network analyses to better evaluate both the “walkability” of communities and various pedestrian and bike routes in an overall effort to promote smart growth and improve bike and pedestrian planning. Brian will present and discuss methods, process and outcomes of using network based GIS techniques for evaluating the “walkability” and bikability of communities on general plans, bike and pedestrian plans and Transit Oriented Development (TOD) projects in a variety of communities in California.

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