Transport networks and land use interact closely to shape an urban system and the importance of integrated land use-transport planning has long been identified. This work describes one such effort using the microsimulation-based urban planning system UrbanSim and a four-step Visum travel model. Motivated by the need to develop reliable regional socioeconomic forecasts for research purposes at the University of Cincinnati, this study also proposes a technique of incorporating future land cover change forecasts into UrbanSim.

The scope of this study is the Hamilton County of Ohio. A zone-version UrbanSim land use model was implemented to predict socioeconomic changes in the region for travel demand forecasting. Preliminary work included data collection, data preparation and estimation of location choice models. County data was collected from the Cincinnati Area GIS (CAGIS), Hamilton County Auditor’s office and census data. To account for the effect of land cover change, predictions made by the GIS and image-processing tool IDRISI were incorporated into UrbanSim input tables. For the aggregated zone-version UrbanSim, this technique eliminates the need for zoning data input, thereby saving time and effort to integrate zoning data from different jurisdiction across a huge study area. After model estimation and calibration, land use changes from year 2010 through year 2020 were simulated by the model. A four-step Visum travel model was run at 5-year intervals to simulate the dynamic effect of land use change on travel patterns. The preliminary results of simulation were observed to be in accordance with expected trends. The household densities in the region decreased. Employment densities in and away from the Central Business District were in line with the location preferences of various employment sectors.

Efforts to validate this integrated land use and transport model are in progress. For validation purpose, historical county data for years 2000 and 2005 have been obtained from the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments’ data archives. Once the input data is prepared, the integrated land use-transport model will simulate socioeconomic changes from year 2000 through 2010 and the results will be compared against observed 2010 data to evaluate model performance.