Integrated Land Use, Transportation, and Environmental Modeling Alan Borning, University of Washington Mark Simonson, Puget Sound Regional Council NSF.
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Integrated Land Use, Transportation, and Environmental Modeling Alan Borning, University of Washington Mark Simonson, Puget Sound Regional Council NSF Digital Government Case Study: UrbanSim
Using Models in Urban Planning Integrated land use and transportation models can provide an important tool for exploring policy alternatives and possible urban futures What if …? –We built a new freeway or rail line? –We changed zoning or established an urban growth boundary? –We changed the tax structure? What are the impacts on traffic congestion, open space, housing affordability, resource consumption, emissions, …?
150 Meter Grid Cells 150 square meter grid cells
UrbanSim - Interacting Component Models Housing Land Macroeconomy Jobs Households Nonresidential Buildings Development Regulations Transportation Accessibility Travel Model
Example simulation output: Map-based indicator display
Software Development Methodology We use a version of an agile software development process Developers: 2 PhD-level software engineers, computer science grads & undergrads Architecture designed to make it easy to experiment with different component models, add new models Test-first development, extensive battery of tests Mostly Java currently; increasing use of Python Software is Open Source (GPL)
Tests, Tests, and More Tests 300+ Unit Tests using JUnit 12+ Acceptance Tests using FIT (literate tests, readable by modelers)
Applying UrbanSim in Puget Sound Puget Sound Regional Council –The transportation, economic and growth planning agency for the central Puget Sound region of Washington State Some challenges for PSRC and the region (among others) –Transportation (e.g. traffic congestion, aging infrastructure, public transportation) –Very hard to find additional funding due to a series of ballot initiatives and voter opposition to any tax increase –Achieving goals of state Growth Management Act, such as preventing sprawl and loss of open space –Housing affordability, other equity concerns –Environmental issues: salmon, water quality, air quality, resource consumption
PSRC and Forecasts History of preparing regional and sub-regional demographic forecasts –Federal and State obligations to maintain travel demand forecast capability –Use of DRAM/EMPAL models to produce regular Small Area Forecasts Improving land use modeling is a priority –Direct response to comments heard during update of transportation plan, Destination 2030 Better representation of land use plans and data Able to test policy “what if” scenarios Expanded geographical reporting ability
UW/PSRC Collaboration Active, ongoing University of Washington/PSRC partnership to extend and apply UrbanSim to the region Major activities –Last year: data collection, preparation, assessment –Current: sensitivity analysis (experimenting with 5 alternate scenarios that test the system’s response to major policy changes) –Spring 2005: use with realistic policy scenarios –Summer 2005: use in first major policy application (update of VISION 2020, the region’s adopted growth and transportation strategy) Extensive involvement of PSRC staff, Regional Technical Forum, and others
UrbanSim Project - Future Directions Additional ecological models More direct support for public access and deliberation A platform for open-source collaboration among modelers?
Ecological Models Claim: for modeling the impact of urban areas on the environment, a behaviorally-based model of human activity is essential Current ecological models in UrbanSim: –[amount and spatial distribution of open space] –Land cover change (done for King County) Planned or likely: –Integration with EPA Air Quality model –Water demand model Other strong candidates: –Greenhouse gas emissions –Energy consumption –Salmon
More Direct Support for Public Access and Deliberation Three interrelated projects: – Indicator Browser Ready-to-hand documentation Live documentation; test-on-demand Dynamic output –Indicator Perspectives Organizations with widely differing views on land use, transportation, and the environment analyze and comment on indicators and scenarios –U-Build-It Giving direct access to the simulation to citizens and elected officials
A Platform for Open-Source Collaboration among Modelers? Developing UrbanSim user community –Application in Salt Lake City, Eugene, Honolulu, Houston, Phoenix, Tel Aviv, Paris, and elsewhere –First UrbanSim Workshop in San Antonio in January –Please ask Charlie Schweik for a copy of his paper “Open Source and Open Content: A Framework for Global Collaboration in Social-Ecological Research”