Scenario Planning for Managing Transportation Unknowns

What You'll Learn

  • Understand the role of scenario planning in supporting confident transportation planning decisions.
  • Apply scenario planning to better prepare for the opportunities, challenges, and uncertainty that may arise with automated vehicles and other transportation innovations.
  • Identify other transportation planning challenges to which a scenario planning approach may apply.

More Course Details

Scenario planning enables planners to navigate the uncertain effects of emerging technologies. Using these techniques, planners can help their stakeholders and communities develop robust scenarios of how various future forces interact.

Scenarios help planners explore and prioritize a wide range of possible responses, understand the risks and opportunities under different conditions, and adapt effectively to unexpected developments.

For example, responses to the rapid emergence of new transportation technologies are complicated by their very uncertain outcomes. Walking, bicycling, and transit may coexist happily alongside connected/autonomous vehicles, with transportation network companies serving as a first-/last-mile or gap-filling solution. Sustainable shared-use systems may be viable at affordable price points. But if automated vehicles are deployed primarily as private vehicles, they may increase vehicle miles traveled and aggravate sprawl.

This course explores how scenario planning can clarify these dynamics and support confident decisions that help realize each community's transportation vision despite the uncertainty about what might happen.