SPM Features

Overview

SPM Banner Image

SPM provides a powerful and dynamic scenario creation, modeling, and data organization framework designed to facilitate more informed and collaborative planning by providing a comprehensive view of potential futures. Its suite of tools and analytic engines enable the creation and organization of local and regional data, plans and policies, facilitate scenario creation and editing, and estimate a wide range of potential benefits resulting from alternative transportation and land use strategies.

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Data Management

SPM provides a common platform to share, review, update, and disseminate data between SCAG and local jurisdictions while maintaining data consistency and integrity. Through user permissions, local jurisdictions can access high quality geospatial data covering SCAG region down to parcel level and update information of its own jurisdiction. Data available through the SPM include:

Legal/Administrative/ Statistical Area

  • County boundary
  • Subregion boundary
  • Sphere of Influence
  • City boundary
  • Census Tract boundary

Growth Estimates/ Projections

  • Number of people
  • Number of households
  • Number of jobs

Planning/Analysis Unit

  • Transportation Analysis Zone (TAZ) boundary
  • Scenario Planning Zone (SPZ) boundary
  • Parcel boundary

Land Use/Environment

  • Existing land use
  • General Plan land use
  • Zoning
  • Entitlement
  • Sea level rise

Resource Areas/Farmland

  • Endangered species and plants
  • Flood areas
  • Natural habitat
  • Open space and parks
  • Farmland

Transportation

  • High Quality Transit Areas
  • High Quality Transit Corridors
  • Major Stops
  • Transit Priority Areas
  • Bike lanes

Access to the SPM is restricted to authorized users from local jurisdictions in the SCAG region. People without permissions may go to SCAG GIS & Data Services program to access the needed data.​​​​​

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Scenario Development

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Scenarios are built upon a base-year canvas that provides a baseline assessment of the existing conditions, including land use, demographic characteristics, roadway and transit, land types, environmental features, and others. SPM streamlines the development of the base canvas through scripts and processes that normalize data of varying quality, type and scale from a wide range of sources. The base canvas provides the context for scenario painting and editing, and subsequent analysis. Once the base canvas is set, scenarios can be created in two ways: translation of existing plans, and ‘painting’ or editing of new or existing plans or scenarios. 

Existing Plan Translation

SPM analyzes existing plans or scenarios at any scales based on their key characteristics such as density, mix of uses, and street connectivity. It then translates each geographic area (e.g., parcel, TAZ, or SPZ) of the input plan into one of the model’s common language of Place Types, which represent a full range of existing and future land development patterns, from urban mixed use centers, to employment and industrial areas, to standard suburban residential areas that can be seen across the SCAG region. This allows SCAG to integrate local plans together into a common regional fabric of land use and transportation plan and to perform consistent analysis on individual plans or combinations thereof.

Scenario Painting and Editing

SPM’s web based scenario painter that includes a suite of selection adn viewing tools allows the user to edit or build upon a translated plan or scenario, or create new scenarios from scratch by applying Place Types to the landscape. In addition to various spatial data layers available via SPM’s graphical user interface, ranging from parcel level land use, to statewide resource areas and farmland, the web based scenario painter can also display regularly updated data available on the web today (e.g., Google Maps, Open Street Map).​​

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Scenario Analysis

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Analytical engines measure the fiscal, environmental, transportation, public health, and community impacts of future plans and policy.

SPM analytical engines produce a range of critical metrics that allow for meaningful comparisons across different land use and transportation scenarios. Once changes are made to the base canvas via painting or translation of existing plan, scenario core processes combine the changes or growth input with the existing conditions to create future scenarios and estimate developable land and demographic characteristics. These scenarios then run through other model engines briefly described below to measure their performance for mobility, air quality, public health, fiscal impacts, resource consumptions, and others.

Land Consumption IconLand Consumption Engine

SPM’s web based scenario painter that includes a suite of selection adn viewing tools allows the user to edit or build upon a translated plan or scenario, or create new scenarios from scratch by applying Place Types to the landscape. In addition to various spatial data layers available via SPM’s graphical user interface, ranging from parcel level land use, to statewide resource areas and farmland, the web based scenario painter can also display regularly updated data available on the web today (e.g., Google Maps, Open Street Map).​​

Fiscal Impact IconFiscal Impact Engine

Fiscal Impact Engine estimates the impacts of variations in residential development unit types and patterns on capital infrastructure costs, operations and maintenance (O&M) costs, and revenues.

Energy IconBuilding Energy Engine

Building Energy Engine calculates residential and commercial building energy use, and their related costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, for both new and existing buildings.

Water IconWater Engine

Water Engine calculates indoor and outdoor residential and commercial water use, and their related costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, for both new and existing buildings.

Transportation IconTransportation Engine

SPM incorporates a comprehensive “sketch” travel model that produces vehicle miles traveled (VMT), mode choice, and congestion estimates for land use and transportation scenarios, as well as transportation-related costs, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and pollutant emissions.

Public Health IconPublic Health Engine

SPM measures the impact of land use patterns and urban form on a range of health-related indicators. Public health metrics include physical activity-related weight and disease incidences, pedestrian safety measures, and respiratory impacts.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​