If historical trend & historical pattern are *all* you want to consider, then consider (1) a region-level modeling of economic and population growth, paired with (2) a markov chain/cellular automata modeling of land use, for local spatial distribution.

The MC/CA approach allows you to simulate spatial distribution of as much land development as you need to accommodate the region-level economic and population growth.


There’s a large literature on markov chain/cellular automata modeling.  

For example, see Iacono and Levinson (2008).  Their presentation video and slides are at  or Iacono and Levinson (2008) paper at



Having said all that, I *don’t* think that historical trend, historical pattern, and mathematical extrapolation are *all* we need to consider.


In the MSP metro, Metropolitan Council is instead implementing a real estate market/land use simulation model, coordinated with our travel demand modeling, allowing us to introduce regional & local policies and plans – and thus simulate future alternative scenarios.  Our premise is that policies and planning can have influence or impact on development dynamics – and that the accessibility terrain influences development, and, of course, vice versa.


From our discussions with peer agencies and lit review, we think use of a real estate market/land use simulation model is typical of the state-of-the-practice.  And contemporary models are attentive to what socioeconomic market segments will site where (considering neighborhood preferences, housing stock, etc.).


My own bookshelf on contemporary land use modeling includes…

                    Hunt, J.D., D. Kriger, and E. Miller (2005): “Current operational land-use transport modelling frameworks: a review.” Transport Reviews, 25, pp 329-376.

                    Iacono, M., D. Levinson, and A. El-Geneidy (2008): “Models of transportation and land use change: A guide.” Journal of Planning Literature, 22, pp 323-340. Online at  

                    Johnston, R., and M. McCoy (2006): Assessment of integrated transportation-land use models: Final report. Online at  

                    Wegener, M. (2004): “Overview of land-use-transport models.” In Transport Geography and Spatial Systems, volume 5. Online at  

And there are lots of good articles, papers and reports on specific models, applications.


If you prefer webinars or videos, I recommend…

                    Colby Brown and Francisco Martinez’s webinar on the CubeLand model.

                    also Paul Waddell’s excellent series of 8 TMIP webinars covering general theory of land use models, state of the practice, detailed discussion of models IPLACE3S, PECAS, and UrbanSim.


Hope that helps.



Todd Graham  Principal Forecaster

Metropolitan Council  | 390 North Robert Street  |  Saint Paul, MN  55101

tel: 1+651-602-1322  |  fax: 1+651-602-1674  |  e:  


Visit for the latest in regional information.



From: [] On Behalf Of Benito Perez
Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2012 9:27 AM
Subject: [CTPP] Analyzing historical geospatial Census data to assist in forecasting TAZ socioeconomic data




Good morning. Wanted to solicit ideas, tools, resources that others may be aware of in analyzing historical census data to develop growth trends that can be used in forecasting socioeconomic data for our travel demand model’s traffic analysis zones (TAZs). Thoughts? At this point I have gathered Census tract geospatial data for our region (Hampton Roads) as far back as 1960, Census Block Group geospatial data from 1990 onwards, and Census Block geospatial data from 2000 onwards. The hope is to do a geospatial analysis with these data sets to geospatially identify growth patterns across our region. Thanks for your time in your thoughts on this. I’ll be cross-posting this on the TMIP listserv as well.



Description: Description: Description: HRTPO logo - small


Benito O. Pérez, AICP

Transportation Engineer

Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization

The Regional Building  723 Woodlake Drive Chesapeake Virginia  23320|| Phone: 757.420.8300 | Fax: 757.523.4881


All email correspondence to and from this address is subject to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act

and to the Virginia Public Records Act, which may result in monitoring and disclosure to third parties, including law enforcement.


This email is intended to be read only by the intended recipient. This email may be legally privileged or protected from disclosure by law. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination of this email or any attachments is strictly prohibited, and you should refrain from reading this email or examining any attachments. If you received this email in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete this email and any attachments.