UrbanFootprint: Next-Gen Scenario Planning Tool

Andy Likuski, Calthorpe Associates
Friday 13:00 - 13:25
Session 2, Track 7, Slot 1

UrbanFootprint is a new open source scenario planning tool that seeks to revolutionize the practice of planning, with the potential to allow for a closer integration with research, public involvement, and education. Within version 1.1 alpha now complete and the next version currently under development, UrbanFootprint is a new state-of-the-art model that uses open source geographic information system (GIS) technology to create and evaluate physical land use/transportation investment scenarios. It is designed to be deployed by government agencies, private entities and NGOs. The model translates disparate data describing the existing environment and future urban development plans into a common data language, and defines future scenarios through the application of a new common set of ‘Place Types’. The model’s suite of Place Types represents a complete range of development types and patterns, from higher density mixed-use centers, to separated-use residential and commercial areas, to institutional and industrial areas. The physical and demographic characteristics associated with the Place Types are used to calculate the impacts of each scenario. UrbanFootprint represents the new standard for scenario modeling tools intended for use by urban and regional planners at the local, county, regional, state or national level. Running on a backbone of PostGIS, PostgreSQL and Ubuntu Linux 64-bit, it takes full advantage of today’s hardware processing capabilities to model the impacts of future urban growth scenarios on the base (existing) environment in future years to generate outcomes for a full list of metrics, including: Travel behavior (vehicle miles traveled, transit trips, walking trips, fuel consumed, fuel cost, criteria pollutant emissions, transportation electricity consumed and impacts); Energy & Water consumption (for transportation & buildings); Land Consumption by type; Infrastructure Cost (capital and operations & maintenance); City revenue from residential development; Public Health Impacts (Obesity, Asthma, Rhinitis, Pedestrian-Vehicle Collisions, Respiratory & Cardiovascular Health Incidences); and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions.