Scenario Planning Conference Attendees Take a Close Look at Central Ohio

    September 13, 2018

    The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) played host to visitors from across the nation as the Consortium for Scenario Planning held its annual conference in Columbus. Those from out of town had the opportunity to learn more about how Central Ohio is planning for the future through initiatives like insight2050.

    Scenario Planning is a decision-making process, often involving diverse professionals, the public, and other stakeholders. It identifies various “alternative futures” based on the current reality and driving forces of change. A “desired future” can be selected from the alternatives, which then sets a specific end goal for direction setting.

    Attendees of the Consortium for Scenario Planning Conference take part in a walking tour of Columbus, including the Columbus Commons.

    In Central Ohio, insight2050 is an example of scenario planning – designed to help communities proactively plan for development and population growth over the next 30+ years that is expected to be dramatically different from the past. The region is on track to have a population of three million people by 2050.

    The initiative produced a regional analysis and data-rich report that enables local and regional policy makers, business leaders, developers, and public stakeholders to evaluate the impact of future land use decisions on specific factors that influence our communities’ quality of life. These factors include land consumption and mobility, as well as the fiscal, environmental, and public health impacts of development and investment choices.

    As a highlight of the first day of the Scenario Planning Conference, MORPC Planning & Environment Director Kerstin Carr spoke about insight2050 Corridor Concepts. The insight2050 Corridor Concepts study explores more walkable/compact environments and high-capacity transit along five representative routes to help communities make informed decisions about housing, transportation, and economic development. The process will be replicable so similar analyses can be conducted along other regional corridors in the future.

    Carr was also joined on a panel that included: Autumn Glover, Government Affairs & Community Relations, The Ohio State University; Mark Wagenbrenner, President & CEO, Wagenbrenner Development; and Kimberly Sharp, Deputy Director of Planning & Development, City of Westerville.

    “As a board member of the Consortium for Scenario Planning, it is wonderful to see such increased interest and use of scenario planning across the nation for both local or more general, region-wide initiatives. This conference is a great way to learn from and with others on how to best utilize these forward-thinking planning tools as we prepare for our futures.”
    MORPC Director of Planning & Environment Kerstin Carr

    Later in the day, conference attendees had a walking tour of downtown Columbus, including the Scioto Mile.

    The Consortium for Scenario Planning, an initiative of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, is a participation organization established in 2017 to foster growth in the application of scenario planning in rural and urban areas. Participants range from rural, city, county, and regional planners to urban managers and more. The Scenario Planning Conference lasts through Friday, September 14.

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