UPlan: Geographic Information System as Framework for Integrated Land Use Planning Model
A geographic information system (GIS) framework is appealing to model supply-side decisions because spatial relationships commonly used by developers to evaluate building sites, such as the proximity to transportation facilities, existing land uses, political boundaries, and environmentally sensitive areas, are defined precisely in the GIS layers. The GIS captures spatial synergisms that are lost in tabulations by traffic zone or larger forecasting districts. Further, the results are defined for individual parcels (grids). This method interfaces directly with the concerns of residents and other interest groups. Uncertainty and error in postmodel allocations from zones to parcels in existing land use models can significantly blur and degrade the relevance of forecasts made with existing models. The development patterns predicted by UPlan, a planning model, tend to be realistic and provide a basis for land use planning and evaluation. A GIS land use survey, supplemented with simulation model networks and census data, was used to calibrate the model. The calibrated UPlan model did a reasonably accurate job of allocating the various categories of land uses to predefined composite growth areas. The generalized UPlan model is applicable in a wide variety of rural, suburban, and urban settings. The model, as presented, was configured as a travel simulation integrated land use planning tool, but the method also can be used as the supply-side component within a comprehensive land use modeling framework.