From Policy to Forecast | planning for the future
MARC worked with area governments and local comprehensive plans to produce a regional growth and development forecast based on what is likely to occur, as well as on our shared vision for the future. Learn more about how the forecast was created»
As the metropolitan planning organization for Kansas City, MARC must predict growth and traffic patterns for Transportation Outlook 2040. To accurately plan for meeting transportation needs, we need to know how and where our population will grow. According to MARC's economic model, Greater Kansas City is projected to grow by some 750,000 people over the next 30 years — from just under 2 million to 2.7 million people. We also expect to add 500,000 more jobs to the region by 2040.
Where will these additional people live and work? Projecting this is the principal role of the Technical Forecast Committee, which is composed of planners from area governments. They oversee MARC's work to aggregate local comprehensive plans and use models to forecast future development.
The land-use forecast for Transportation Outlook 2040 marks the first time it has been based on detailed data in the region’s Geographic Information Systems. The records on the nearly 1 million parcels in the region maintained by area county governments provide a highly accurate picture of the region’s current land use. We started with detailed information on how land is currently used — single-family housing, apartments, shopping centers, etc. We added comprehensive plans of local governments and mathematical models to predict which land is most likely to develop by the year 2040.
Out of this, for the first time we were able to create alternative pictures of how the region could develop in the future — using baseline and adaptive scenarios as extreme ends of a spectrum — and engage the community in a rich discussion about our choices.
Will our growth rate follow current trends? Or will forces such as climate change, globalization of the economy, technological change and demographic shifts cause us to grow faster than expected — or slower?
What Does it Mean?
Greater Kansas City is planning development that will accommodate 5.5 million people at ultimate buildout, yet the forecast predicts that we will grow to only 2.7 million people by 2040. (Based on combined land-use plans from local governments.)
Land Use Today
Buildout Land Use
based on combined land-use plans from local governments