RCS Regional Scenario Planning

Baseline Scenario


Baseline and greater growth forecasts concept, charting regional employment/population growth, scenario forecast with additional growth, and the baseline forecast from 2015 until 2045.The Baseline Scenario is the adopted 2045 regional socioeconomic forecast, as approved by the HRTPO Board. It includes forecasted growth of 8% in employment and 17% in population over the 2015 base year.

This scenario will be tested with the new regional travel demand model, based on a transportation network of existing + committed projects (Committed projects are defined as fully-funded transportation projects programmed for construction in the VDOT Six-Year Improvement Program), to identify baseline transportation performance in 2045.

The three alternative scenarios, or “Greater Growth” scenarios, will include additional growth amounts that will be allocated differently according to the drivers of growth unique to each scenario.

The baseline performance information will be provided here when available in fall 2019.  Committed projects are defined as fully-funded transportation projects programmed for construction in the VDOT Six-Year Improvement Program.

Greater Growth Scenarios


The Greater Growth Scenarios are centered around specific narratives developed through discussions with regional stakeholders. The scenarios have distinctly different assumptions for future growth in jobs, based on key industry drivers in each scenario narrative. Likewise, patterns of population growth will vary across scenarios, depending on scenario assumptions. For all three Greater Growth Scenarios, the forecasted growth in jobs and population will be the same. This forecasted growth is in addition to the 2045 baseline growth from the HRTPO Board-approved 2045 Socioeconomic Forecast. The Greater Growth performance information will be provided here when available.

Framework for Exploratory Planning

Key Drivers

Within each scenario are certain parameters—demographics and land use, economics, and technology—which have their own drivers. Drivers are external factors that can influence the future scenarios but are uncertain in the future. Through scenario planning, we are able to adjust the “settings” of these drivers to produce variable outcomes.

Scenario Narratives

The Scenario Narratives describe the key drivers and the intended travel patterns to be tested by each scenario (see graphic below). The RCS Steering Committee approved the initial scenario narratives for the Greater Growth Scenarios on July 9, 2019. On July 18, 2019, the HRTPO Board also approved the scenario narratives.


Some examples of land use and demographic drivers include population, locations of population growth clusters, and the generational mix of future populations.  The land use model uses regional place types and suitability factors to distribute growth differently in each scenario.


Some examples of economic drivers include industry diversification, port activities, and tourism.


Some examples of technology drivers include connected/autonomous vehicle implementation and shared mobility costs and usage.

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Scenario Planning Webinar #8 – 1/23/20
Scenario Webinar #8, 01/23/2020 This webinar focused on the trend drivers to be incorporated in the travel demand model. These drivers include operational and behavioral impacts of transportation t…
Scenario Planning Webinar #7 – 6/27/19
Scenario Webinar #7, 6/27/19 This webinar focuses on the details of the land use model suitability factors, which are a key component of land use allocation. The land use team illustrated the way tha…
Scenario Planning Webinar #6 – 6/6/19
Scenario Webinar #6, 6/6/19 In this webinar, the study team reviewed the analysis and recommendations for the Greater Growth employment level and pros and cons of the choices under consideration. The…
Scenario Planning Webinar #5 – 5/2/19
  The focal points of this webinar were goals, objectives, and performance measures. The team reviewed the four draft goals—Economic Vitality, Sustainability (Equity, Community, and Environmen…
Scenario Planning Webinar #4 – 4/11/19
The land use team updated the working group on the progress of the place type development and allocation for the place types in both parallel tracks (2015/2045 and the greater growth scenarios). They …
Scenario Planning Webinar #3 – 3/27/19
The third webinar reviewed the questionnaire sent out to the region’s jurisdictions and organizations regarding drivers. The major focus of the webinar was economic. The team discussed the likelihood …
Scenario Planning Webinar #2 – 3/15/19
During the second update, the land use team went into more detail about how the development and allocation of the existing and (baseline) future place types is used in the land use model and subsequen…
Scenario Planning Webinar #1 – 2/14/19
The first webinar introduced how the model will take land use into account both in the present and in the future. The team explained how the land use data are used to build “place types”—profiles of d…