Greater Boston Scenarios

A confederation of inter-related research projects that have at their core the use of integrated urban land use and transportation models calibrated and validated for multiple years in Greater Boston.  Details on the full Model System and applications can be found here.

Strategically Adaptive Sustainable Mobility Systems

Sponspored by the Masdar Institute/MIT Cooperative Program. Aims to formalize techniques for accounting for uncertainty in integrated models and understand how the effects of accounting for that uncertainty might change decision-making.  Our effort focuses on improving understanding of the relative effects of several forms of uncertainty: 

  • exogenous uncertainty, or that arising from factors outside the model system like public policy, world economy, fuel prices, etc.;
  • endogenous uncertainty, or that arising from uncertainty regarding the interactions within the model (e.g., the behavioral parameters); and
  • model uncertainty, which can be broken down to functional uncertainty (the functional form of the model) and structural uncertainty (the way the model is defined and the way it interacts with other models);

Our second objective is to understand how to mitigate such uncertainty through the use of better decision-making methods (April 2013-Dec. 2015). More details can be found here.

Implementing BRTOD: From Designs to Policies

Sponsored by the BRT Centre of Excellence. Aims to demonstrate what types of policies can leverage transit-oriented development (TOD) around BRT in Greater Boston and distil lessons for elsewhere. We will examine a specific BRT corridor and initial TOD development ideas (as developed through a graduate-level BRTOD workshop) and analyze, using the integrated modeling system, the development policies and incentives which might maximize BRTOD benefits.

Scenario Discovery for Resilient Urban Systems (or, The Future is “Big Data”)

Sponsored by the New England University Transportation Center. Our primary aim is to formalize techniques for representing and propagating uncertainty in integrated land-use and transportation (LUT) models and demonstrate how this more rigorous characterization of uncertainty can lead to more robust and flexible systems, and improve decision-making. We will show a state-of-the-art planning approach which capitalizes on computational power to farm numerous alternative and uncertain future spaces and mine those futures to identify effective strategies.

Rising Tides: Planning and designing Boston’s land use and mobility system for a changing climate

Sponsored by the Center for Advanced Urbanism Seed Research Fund. This project seeks to explore urban design and policy strategies for adapting to potential sea level rise through simulated interventions in the land use-transportation system in the Boston Metropolitan Area (BMA).

Related graduate student theses

Chheda, Rinal. 2014. Negotiating the neighborhood : modeling the relationship between built environment and transit choice.

Dowd, Michael. 2015. Modeling Inundation Impacts on Transportation Network Performance: A GIS and Four-Step Transportation Modeling Analysis.

Han, Yafei. 2015. Temporal Transferability Assessments of Vehicle Ownership Models and Trip Generation Models for Boston Metropolitan Area.

Posada, Pablo. 2015. Location, Location, Location Choice Model.