What Are Scenarios?

Scenarios are narratives or sets of assumptions that explore plausible courses of change. Another way to think of them is as a snapshot of the future — providing a means to vision possible future changes and different policy and investment options. Alternate scenarios can test how various growth, transportation, economic development, and environmental ideas might affect the future of a community or region. Scenario planning has a selected time horizon to illustrate what life might be like in 10, 25, or 50 years. Elements are assessed through qualitative comparison, brainstorming, use of visualization tools, and scenario analysis tools. Examples of these tools are provided in the Gathering Data section.

A Closer Look: Envision Cache Valley Scenarios

These alternate growth scenarios were developed using themes explored by the public. All scenarios assume the same number of people living in Cache Valley as well as the same number of jobs. However, the scenarios differ in several significant ways: location and type of growth, transportation investments proposed, priorities for recreation, and the conservation of natural resources and working farms.

scenarios

Cache Valley Baseline

cachemapNew Growth
New growth in Scenario A (Baseline) occurs primarily along the benches, especially near major transportation corridors. Many lots are typical in size to recent development trends, and many have large back yards. Land uses tend to be separated, though some communities create new neighborhood or town centers that integrate shopping, employment and housing.

What Would Cache Valley Be Like in 2040?
The Baseline scenario is a picture of what the valley may look like if we continue to grow both where we have been growing and how we have been growing. The baseline simply projects the pattern of our past ten years forward into the future. It is by no means our most likely future, but it does give us a baseline to which other ideas, those that come from the public, can be compared. We can ask ourselves if we are heading toward the future we want or if we want to make some changes.

Transportation
Roadways are the priority, with almost all trips done by automobile. Local road systems tend to include more cul-de-sacs and fewer grids. There is more privacy, but fewer roadway connections. Buses continue to run on the existing fixed route system. Because housing tends to be further from shopping and employment, few trips are made by walking or biking.

Land Conservation
While many communities grow together over time, much of the valley floor is conserved. Farming is impacted by the extent of growth and increased fragmentation. Water quality is conserved, with growth happening away from most water bodies, wetlands, and floodplains.

Recreation
This growth pattern emphasizes private recreation that occurs largely in people's backyards.

Scenario B

scenariobNew Growth
Scenario B focuses new growth primarily along the benches, especially near major transportation corridors. Many lots are typical in size to recent development trends, and many have large back yards. Land uses tend to be separated, though some communities create new neighborhood or town centers that integrate shopping, employment and housing.

Transportation
The road network is a priority, with a new bypass extending from Preston in the north to a point southwest of Logan along Highway 89/91. Buses operate about as frequently as they do today. Some trips are made on foot or by bike, though housing tends to be further from goods, services, and employment.

Land Conservation
While many communities grow together over time, much of the valley floor is conserved. Farming is impacted by the extent of growth and increased fragmentation. Water quality is conserved, with growth happening away from most water
bodies, wetlands, and floodplains.

Recreation
This growth pattern emphasizes private recreation that occurs largely in people's backyards.

Scenario C

scenariocNew Growth
In Scenario C, communities across the valley grow into traditional towns and small cities. Most feature neighborhood or town centers that provide for day-to-day needs and some employment. The centers have a range of housing choices, including living spaces above retail and commercial businesses. Overall, houses tend to be closer together.

Transportation
The road network includes a partial bypass road west of the Logan area as well as enhanced east-west connections. Enhanced public transportation loops serve most communities. New service may include peak hour vanpools, more bus routes, and more frequent bus service. Bike commute routes follow the public transportation loops.

Land Conservation
Open lands keep most communities distinct and separate from one another. Working farms are impacted by growth at the edges of existing towns, though they remain largely intact in the valley's center. Water quality is preserved, as most water bodies, wetlands and floodplains on the valley floor are conserved.

Recreation
Use of local recreation systems is high. Local systems may use trail loops to link parks and other recreational facilities.

Scenario D

scenariodNew Growth
In Scenario D, existing eastside communities assume a compact pattern and absorb most of the population. Distinct city and town centers emerge. Most growth occurs within city limits by filling in vacant developable land and through land recycling, particularly in commercial areas. Westside/central communities experience some growth, perhaps in the form of small neighborhood centers providing for day-to-day needs and more housing choices. This growth pattern places a mix of jobs, shopping, townhouses and condos at the center of larger cities and towns with single-family housing nearby.

Transportation
Major streets are designed for a range of transportation choices. A dedicated public transportation corridor is envisioned as part of an existing road right-ofway, extending from Preston through Sardine Canyon, linking compact centers along the valley's east side to the Wasatch Front. The corridor may accommodate a streetcar or BRT and, over time, may transition to a light rail line. Many trips are made on foot or by bike, since most people live near services, shopping and workplaces.

Land Conservation
The impact of development occurs on minimal acreage. Open lands separate most communities, and most working farms remain. Water quality is preserved, as water bodies, wetlands and floodplains on the valley floor are conserved. The edge between urban use to the east and rural functions to the west is distinct.

Recreation
The Bonneville Shoreline Trail serves as a regional recreation corridor. With most people living near the trail, it links residents to a regional system that provides access to the mountains, canyons and the rivers the flow out of them. With a regional network, there may be less emphasis on local recreation systems and more emphasis on local links to the regional system.