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Southern California Association of Governments

Welcome to SCAG

SCAG is the nation's largest metropolitan planning organization, representing six counties, 191 cities and more than 18 million residents. SCAG undertakes a variety of planning and policy initiatives to encourage a more sustainable Southern California now and in the future. More About SCAG >
Southern California Association of Governments

Scenario Planning Model

SCAG is currently developing a Scenario Planning Model (SPM), which will be built on the web-based geospatial modeling platform, UrbanFootprint. The new SPM will provide local jurisdictions a powerful and dynamic scenario creation and modeling tool enabling users to easily create/review/revise local data, polices, and plans. The Model also has advanced analytical capabilities to determine and quantify a wide range of potential benefits resulting from alternative transportation and land use strategies.

SPM Primary Purpose

The primary purpose of SPM is to enhance the Region’s ability to address complex issues and evolving challenges by providing better information about alternative futures and by building an improved linkage between local and regional planning. SPM will provide local planners advanced analytical capabilities and will serve as a common platform for communications between SCAG and local jurisdictions in the creation of the upcoming 2016 RTP/SCS.

About SPM

SPM is a scenario development, modeling and data organization tool with full co-benefit analysis capacity, which measures the fiscal, environmental, transportation, public health and community impacts of plans and policies. In addition, the model provides a platform for SCAG and local jurisdictions to store and exchange data, and to collaborate on regional and local plan development. Within SCAG’s integrated modeling system (for modeling system and integration flowchart, click here), SPM serves as a conduit between local jurisdictions and key SCAG models by:

  • Delivering data and plans reviewed and approved by local jurisdictions to key SCAG models for the analysis of plan performances to ensure that the 2016 RTP/SCS is consistent with local data and policy inputs; and

  • Providing directional and order-of-magnitude impacts of local land use and policy decisions that will assist in the development of 2016 RTP/SCS and associated scenario analysis.

In collaboration with other major MPOs in California, SCAG’s SPM is built from UrbanFootprint, a scenario development and modeling platform built on fully open source software and tools. UrbanFootprint is currently being enhanced and customized for use by major MPOs in California, each developing different facets of UrbanFootprint for their future planning needs.

In order to make the tool most useful to subregions and local jurisdictions, SCAG formed a Working Group that includes representatives from all counties and subregions in the SCAG region to direct the tool development. The SPM Working Group will serve as an advisory group to SCAG Staff and will provide technical input on the aspects of the tool’s functions and operations.

SPM Estimated Timeline

The first version of SCAG SPM will be released to local jurisdictions in Spring 2014 to facilitate local input and review of growth and land use assumption (land use scenarios) for the 2016-2040 RTP/SCS. While it is voluntary, SCAG strongly encourages jurisdictions to utilize the SPM for data review and to provide input.



Related Links

Calthorpe Associates: UrbanFootprint
FHWA Scenario Planning and Visualization in Transportation


UrbanFootprint: Next Generation Open Source Sketch Model and Data Ecosystem


Urban Footprint: Technical Summary
SCAG SPM Working Group Presentation (06/12/2013)
Calthorpe SPM Working Group Presentation (06/12/2013)
Calthorpe SPM Working Group Presentation (08/21/2013)