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Center for Transportation Studies Seminar: Integrated Models: What They Are and How They Help
Friday, April 20, 2012 - 12:00pm to Friday, April 20, 2012 - 1:00pm

Center for Transportation Studies Seminar: Integrated Models: What They Are and How They Help

Friday, April 20, 2012, noon - 1 pm

Integrated land use transportation models simulate the behavior of the spatial economic system and the interactions between the transportation system and the rest of the economic system. The essential elements of these models are explicit treatment of space in economic production and consumption behavior, both the space that is the physical areas that contain production processes and the space that separates different production locations and gives rise to the demand for travel and transport. They put travel within an economic context, and thus facilitate simulation of the impacts of transportation policy and planning actions and transportation conditions on the wider economic system. As such, integrated models can be used address complex policy questions that more limited transportation models cannot address, or cannot address well.

This seminar will set out the basic scope and form of integrated models and discusses several of the key advantages they provide for planning. Experiences gained in the practical applications of the Oregon SWIM and Sacramento MEPLAN and PECAS integrated models will be described. These experiences will be used to illustrate the added benefits arising with such models in terms of more efficient land use forecasting, more complete analysis of cumulative and indirect impacts and more holistic consideration of policy in general, more evaluation of economic impacts with greater relevance, and more effective communication among those concerned with transportation and land use decision-making. This will lead to a more general finding that integrated models can contribute usefully in practical contexts by informing actual policy questions and providing measures to help policy-makers make difficult trade-off decisions.