OTREC Events

Spring 2012 Transportation Seminar Series: Oregon Modeling Collaborative

April 6, 2012 12:00 pm - June 8, 2012 1:00 pm

OTREC and the Center for Transportation Studies at Portland State University are pleased to present a series of free seminars on transportation modeling. These seminars provide decision makers and others interested in transportation policy a nontechnical overview of transportation models and the role they play in decisions. The series is of particular value to those struggling to understand new scenario planning requirements in greenhouse gas reduction legislation. All seminars run from noon to 1 p.m. Click on the individual seminar title for more information. This seminar series is produced in partnership with the Oregon Modeling Collaborative.

#1. What Are Models?
Learning to Love Modeling and the Challenges It Brings

Seminar Date: Friday, April 6
Featured Speaker: Rick Donnelly
Seminar Description: We all use abstractions of reality to help understand the world around us, synthesize knowledge, and to predict the consequences of our actions. This discussion will examine the motivations for building formal models and compare different modeling approaches, along with the strengths and limitations of each. Highlights: important questions that builders and consumers of models should ask, as well as ideas for building more useful and informative models.


#2. Activity and Transportation Models
An Introduction to Travel Models for Non-Modelers

Seminar Date Friday, April 13
Featured Speaker:  Ben Stabler
Seminar Description:Building from the previous seminar, which introduced models in general, this seminar will introduce two primary approaches to travel modeling: four-step aggregate models and activity-based disaggregate models. The inputs, basic model methodology, and outputs of each approach will be discussed. An example of each approach will be discussed as well. The goal of the seminar is to introduce key concepts, basic differences between the two approaches, and discuss the benefits and shortcomings of each approach, with a focus on application.

#3. Integrated Models
What They Are and How They Help

Seminar Date: Friday, April 20
Featured Speaker: John Douglas Hunt
Seminar Description: Integrated land use transportation models simulate the behavior of the spatial economic system and the interactions between the transportation system and the rest of the economic system. This seminar will describe the basic scope and form of integrated models as well as the key advantages they provide for planning. The seminar will rely on several examples (Oregon SWIM, Sacramento MEPLAN and PECAS) to illustrate how integrated models can both effectively inform policy questions and provide measures to help policy-makers handle difficult trade-off decisions.

#4. Land Use Models
Microsimulation Approach for Integrated Land Use- Transportation Modeling: UrbanSim and Its Application

Seminar Date: Friday, April 27
Featured Speaker: Liming Wang
Seminar Description:  This seminar presents UrbanSim, a dynamic microsimulation approach to land use modeling. Using practical applications in the Puget Sound region and the San Francisco Bay Area, the talk will explain how the model enables a larger range of policy scenario inputs, greater flexibility in examination of modeling outcomes and better representation of heterogeneous agents and path dependence in urban systems. The talk concludes with an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the dynamic microsimulation approach for integrated land use-transportation modeling.

#5. Risk and Uncertainty
All Models are Wrong, But Some are Useful

Seminar Date:Friday, May 11
Featured Speakers: Rick Donnelly
Seminar Description: Unlike models of purely physical systems the models discussed in this seminar attempt to capture the interactions between people and institutions. Social systems are considerably more complex and chaotic than physical systems. Uncertainty creeps into forecasting as a result, creating risk that a policy or investment may have unintended consequences, under-perform, or be short-lived. Policy-makers and investors are increasingly demanding a more explicit accounting of risk and uncertainty in forecasting. This discussion will focus on how this will affect the practice of modeling in the future.

#6. GreenSTEP
A Strategic Planning Model for Addressing Transportation Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Seminar Date: Friday, May 25
Featured Speakers: Brian Gregor
Seminar Description:Climate change may be the most serious and urgent issue facing the transportation sector. Travel models can play an important role in evaluating strategies for reducing transportation sector GHG emissions, but prevailing travel models do not address a number of factors that significantly affect GHG emissions. The GreenSTEP model, which estimateshousehold level vehicle travel, energy consumption, and GHG emissions, was developed to fill this gap. GreenSTEP is currently being used to assist the development of ODOT's Statewide Transportation Strategy for reducing GHG emissions and Metro's Climate Smart Communities scenario planning process.

#7. Freight
Improving Freight Routing Modeling Capabilities

Seminar Date: Friday, June 1
Featured Speakers: Anne Goodchild
Seminar Description: Typically, transportation network models take a shortest path assumption for truck routing both for strategic and operational routing decisions. The goal of Professor Goodchild's research was to determine how different subgroups of shippers, carriers, and receivers make route choices, and to understand how these approaches vary across types of routing decisions. We consider route changes of both a spatial and temporal manner.This talk presents the results of a survey of over 800 shippers, carriers, and receivers in Washington State, and recommends a framework for improving the modeling of routing decisions in existing network models.

#8. Synthesis
Moving Toward a Sustainable Oregon - The Future of Modeling and Decision Tools

Seminar Date: Friday, June 8
Featured Speakers: Lynn Peterson & Keith Lawton
Seminar Description: This seminar concludes the eight week exploration of transportation models and decision tools with a look to the future. As Oregon moves forward to address the next set of challenges - energy security, climate change, economic constraints and equity, models will need to provide new information at different spatial and temporal scales to support long range planning - 30 to 50 years out - as well as near term decisions - 1 to 5 years ahead. Lynn Peterson, Governor Kitzhaber's Sustainable Communities and Transportation Policy Advisor, will discuss her vision for a sustainable Oregon. Keith Lawton, consultant and former transportation planner at Metro, will respond by discussing the next steps for model development and application needed to support this agenda.

Spring 2012 Transportation Seminar Series: Oregon Modeling Collaborative

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