Scenario comparisons include a comprehensive range of indicators relating to land use, housing, demographics, economic growth, development feasibility, fiscal impacts, transportation, environmental factors, and quality of life. ET+ provides a quick, sketch-level glimpse of the possible impacts of policies, development decisions and current growth trajectories, and can be used by communities to develop a shared vision of a desirable and attainable future. It can be applied at scales from a single parcel to a metropolitan region.
The original planning tool, Envision Tomorrow, was developed by Fregonese Associates of Portland, Oregon; Envision Tomorrow Plus is the product of a close collaboration between the Metropolitan Research Center and Fregonese Associates. The Plus consists of approximately 20 "apps" developed at the MRC. The apps are models derived from cutting-edge empirical research on a range of planning-related topics and then functionally inserted into the original Envision Tomorrow framework. The new models have been applied and tested in the Wasatch Front region in collaboration with Envision Utah and other WC2040 partners, and in the Austin and Kansas City regions and as part of their HUD Sustainable Communities projects.
ET+ is designed to help elected officials, developers, lenders, planners, property owners and residents make decisions about the best way to build their communities and reach consensus on how to proceed based on mutual benefit and a shared vision. The model's combination of locally calibrated building prototypes, land use and other local data, and the capability of performing spatial analysis using Geographic Information Systems allows it to report a wide range of measures for a given scenario. These measures include such indicators as population and employment, transportation effects, housing and transportation costs, energy consumption, air quality impacts, water and land consumption, public fiscal impacts, return on investment to the developer and lender, optimum redevelopment timing, public health impacts, and much more.
Armed with this model, stakeholders can operate from a common set of data, find ways both private and public interests can benefit, and make decisions based on an understanding of how a particular development or policy direction will affect the developer, the neighborhood, and the region as a whole.
More about ET+
The ET+ model is embedded in a series of Excel spreadsheets that share information with an ArcGIS extension tool. The basic unit of the model is the prototype building, which has physical and economic parameters associated with it. Buildings are combined with each other, along with other features of the urban landscape such as street parameters, public space, etc. to create "Development types". A collection of development types becomes the "palette" that is used to "paint" development scenarios onto a map using the GIS tool. ET+ then calculates indicators based on the area and amount of different development types in the scenario.
A set of regionally calibrated building prototypes and base parcel data for use with ET+ in the Wasatch Front region has been made available for through the WC2040 Sustainable Communities grant.