Scenario Planning

breakout group at local consult meeting

The Kansas Department of Transportation is developing its latest Long-Range Transportation Plan, a federally required document that considers transportation needs of the next 25 years. This plan will shape the next program of transportation system investments across the entire state.

To accomplish this, KDOT asked participants attending its August 2019 Local Consult meetings to think about the state's transportation needs in 2045. This exercise, known as scenario planning, asked Kansans to consider three plausible scenarios about where Kansans will live and how they expect to use transportation to move people, freight and technology.

The scenarios discussed during these meetings were developed using existing data, trends and forecasts. KDOT does not endorse these future scenarios; however, it does endorse the process, which is emerging as a nationally and internationally recognized as a way to help "future-proof" significant transportation investments. We know that when resources are limited, and at a time when technology is changing so rapidly, that making smart and strategic decisions about transportation investments that will be critical to the future health and mobility of Kansans.

The scenarios that were discussed:

•Regional Hubs in 2045: In this future, technology helps sustain and invigorate the prosperity of rural areas of Kansas, which are buoyed by growing area hubs. New mobility solutions in these areas are keys to supporting economic growth, quality of life and access to critical services like healthcare.

•Resiliency Challenged in 2045: In this future, weather extremes hit infrastructure hard and create significant economic and social challenges and force difficult choices about where to invest increasingly scarce dollars in resiliency improvements.

•Cities and Advanced Agriculture Win the Day in 2045: In this future, people across America embrace city-oriented, tech-driven lifestyles. Population growth is concentrated in places like the Kansas City region and Wichita, which absorb most out-of-staters moving to Kansas with job growth and new housing. This growth is often in areas with more dense housing offering services and entertainment within easy walking distance. Advanced agriculture benefits from a tech revolution, sees productivity increase and economic viability strengthened.

The Factbook that provides the data and statistics that influenced the development of the scenarios may be accessed here. As with the scenarios, KDOT does not endorse the trends outlined in the Factbook.

The Visioning Transportation Futures scenario document may be accessed here.