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Scenario Evaluation

Exploration of scenarios

Welcome to CMAP's exploration of scenarios, or alternative directions for our region's future. We used these alternative scenarios, along with past public input to create a draft preferred scenario that is available for review - a document that helped formulate ideas for the final GO TO 2040 plan.

The information on this website builds on the MetroQuest "Invent the Future" interactive software, which you can explore for educational purposes. This website presents policy and investment choices that make up each alternative scenario, impacts of each scenario on key indicators, and illustrations of how the alternative scenarios might affect some sample communities around the region. Learn more about how you can stay involved with GO TO 2040 here.

Below are some commonly asked questions and answers about the scenario evaluation process.

How is this different from the "Invent the Future" interactive software?

The "Invent the Future" software is meant to show the effects of broadly defined policy and investment choices. The scenarios described on this website go into more detail concerning these choices and their outcomes. The software that drives the "Invent the Future" workshops and online tool is used for public engagement purposes and is not intended for policy analysis or modeling purposes. The alternative scenarios described on this site have been roughly translated into the policy choices available in the "Invent the Future" software (as shown in the "Compare 2040" function) for the purposes of comparison, but some scenario elements could not be reflected, and therefore there are some differences between the scenario outcomes presented on this site and the "Invent the Future" software.

What is scenario evaluation?

Scenario evaluation is commonly used in long-range land use and transportation plans. It allows several alternative futures to be created and compared, illustrating the consequences of different policy and investment decisions. For more on scenario evaluation, read this document (PDF 632 KB).

Will there be a vote on the best scenario?

No – the point of this process is to identify the pros and cons of each scenario. We will not pick one of these scenarios as the winner. Instead, based on the input we receive, a "preferred scenario" will be created which combines the most positive aspects of each scenario. We have written a preferred regional scenario, and the final GO TO 2040 Plan will be adopted in fall 2010.

How were the alternative scenarios developed?

The alternative scenarios were developed using examples from around the nation and consultation with CMAP's working committees. A summary of the results of this process is described here (PDF 596 KB).

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