A Framework for Considering Climate Change in Transportation and Land Use Scenario Planning: Lessons Learned from an Interagency Pilot Project on Cape Cod: Final Report

The Interagency Transportation, Land Use, and Climate Change Pilot Project utilized a scenario planning process to develop a multi-agency transportation and land use focused development strategy for Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  The intention of  the project is to achieve a reduction in future greenhouse gas emissions while also considering the potential impacts of sea-level rise on the region. To help develop long-term mitigation and adaptation strategies, the Volpe Center of the Department of Transportation worked with a team of federal, regional, and state stakeholders to execute this scenario planning pilot project on Cape Cod in order to integrate climate change considerations into existing and continuing transportation, land use, coastal zone, and hazard mitigation planning processes.

This guidebook discusses the steps taken during the pilot project and presents lessons learned and recommendations that will guide other areas in pursuing a similar multi-agency approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and plan for climate change impacts through integrated transportation and land use scenario planning. In addition, the scenario planning consultant has produced a supplemental report (the "Technical Scenario Report") that details the methodology and results of the scenario development and includes discussion on limitations and future opportunities.

This report is intended to serve as a resource for staff within organizations that may be interested in, or stand to benefit from, incorporating consideration of climate change into transportation and land use planning, including metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), regional planning organizations (RPOs), state departments of transportation (DOTs) or other state agencies, counties, and cities. Federal land management, transportation, natural resource, and emergency management staff, as well as any federal land-owning agency, may be similarly interested in understanding the value of the described process and how it can be incorporated into and used in support of local transportation, land use, and climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives.

Publication Date: March 2012

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  • Planning guides
  • Scenario planning

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