California Department of Transportation

FHWA Scenario Planning Peer Review Workshops

Scenario planning is an analytical tool that can help transportation professionals prepare for what lies ahead. Scenario planning provides a framework for developing a shared vision for the future by analyzing various forces (e.g., health, transportation, economic, environmental, land use, etc.) that affect growth. Scenario planning, which can be done at the statewide level or for metropolitan regions, tests various future alternatives that meet state and community needs. A defining characteristic of successful public sector scenario planning is that it actively involves the public, the business community, and elected officials on a broad scale, educating them about growth trends and trade-offs, and incorporating their values and feedback into future plans.

Scenario planning can help citizens, businesses, and government officials understand the impacts of growth, especially the relationship between transportation and the social, environmental and economic development of regions. This relationship is a two-way street: growth and development affect transportation performance, while transportation affects social, environmental, and economic development.

Scenario planning is an enhancement of, not a replacement for, the traditional transportation planning process. It enables communities and transportation agencies to better prepare for the future. Scenario planning highlights the major forces that may shape the future and identifies how the various forces might interact, rather than attempting to predict one specific outlook. As a result, regional decision makers are prepared to recognize various forces to make more informed decisions in the present and be better able to adjust and strategize to meet tomorrow's needs.

FHWA and the California Department of Transportation, Collaborative Planning Branch, co-hosted a workshop in Monterey, California on June 2, 2006 and co-hosted another in Chico, California on August 9, 2006.

Monterey Workshop – June 2, 2006

Chico Workshop – August 9, 2006

For more information regarding the California Peer Review Workshops please contact Marilee Mortenson at (916) 653-3758 or visit the Federal Highway Administration Scenario Planning website http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/scenplan/index.htm.