Integrated Models: What They Are and How They Help

Friday, April 20, 2012, 12:00pm to 1:00pm PDT
Doug Hunt, University of Calgary

The video begins at 0:43.

Abstract: 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.

Speaker Bio: J. Douglas Hunt Ph.D., P.Eng. is an internationally recognized and widely published expert in land use and transport interaction modelling, having more than 25 years of experience in transportation demand modelling and land use transport interaction modelling in Europe, the United States, and Canada. Dr. Hunt’s special expertise is in the design and calibration of these models, developing them so that they can be used to examine policy alternatives involving such things as infrastructure development, alterations in land use regulations, changes in transportation conditions (including operations, tariffs and user costs) and new economic and fiscal arrangements. Dr. Hunt is a Professor of Transportation Engineering at the University of Calgary.