TRB 2016 Blue Ribbon Committee
16th National Transportation Planning Applications Conference

UrbanSim for All

Corresponding Author: Jennifer Valentine, Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments

Presented By: Jennifer Valentine, Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments


Urbansim is a widely known software system that simulates land use, transportation, and public policy as dynamic processes across time and space in order to forecast the location of jobs and housing. In the last 25 years UrbanSim has grown in popularity despite its reputation as a data and time heavy lift. The UrbanSim team has recently developed a streamlined version at the census block level that is pre-loaded with data that may simplify the user experience. The repackaged program makes the model more accessible to organizations with varying levels of modeling expertise and resources. The Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) is a small organization with 5 full-time staff, and a moderate MPO population (650,000 people). After utilizing TELUM, a free software program from FHWA, with moderate levels of satisfaction and success for the past 12 years, PPACG staff was seeking a program to increase the rigor of our process and expand our scenario development capabilities. After researching possible solutions, PPACG became one of the first organizations in the nation to use the web-based version of UrbanSim as a key input into our Long Range Transportation planning process. We will present our experiences using the out-of-the-box version of UrbanSim and comparing it to a slightly more data intensive version using our more rigorous and refined regional dataset. We may also provide a comparison against results using similar data in TELUM.


Discuss This Abstract