The Technical Forecast Committee
The Technical Forecast Committee (TFC) includes planners from local governments and other organizations in the Greater Kansas City area. Committee members and MARC staff work together to create long-range land-use forecasts for the region. Long-range forecasts predict the future distribution of people and jobs in the Kansas City region.
In 2010, the TFC completed the 2040 land-use forecast. An updated forecast is currently underway.
Why make long-range forecasts?
As the region's designated Metropolitan Planning Organization, MARC must predict growth and traffic patterns each time it updates the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (formerly titled the Long-Range Transportation Plan) — a plan that guides all of our transportation investments that use federal funds. Major highways are planned years in advance, and to plan correctly we need to know where our population and employment will grow.
Long-range planning requires much more than just predictions of population growth and decline. To plan for efficient transportation systems, we must also predict how land will be used. Where will our employment centers be, our retail development, our green spaces, our hospitals and schools? Will our growth rate follow current trends, or will forces such as climate change, globalization, technological change and demographic shifts affect the pace or style of land-use change?
Imagining the future Greater Kansas City area
The forecast is created for the long-range transportation plan, but it is also a useful tool for imagining the effects of all of the land use policies and decisions adopted by city and county governments and others in the region.
Forecasting with Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Cities and counties develop their own long-range plans, and the Technical Forecast Committee works with these local governments to aggregate local plans into a regional planned land-use map. Using a GIS-based tool called 'Paint the Town' planners can visualize different future land-use patterns and predict the numbers of people and jobs consistent with those patterns.