Metropolitan Kansas City's
Long-Range Transportation Plan

Image of walkable urbanism at Market Street in Overland Park, Kan.

Growth Scenarios | visualizing the future

What makes one place more likely to develop than another? Generally, places that are close to roads, served by sewers, and are near growing areas with high-income households are more likely to develop than places that are far from services, amenities and activities.

In the future, new development may be more constrained than in the past due to rising energy and gasoline prices. Also, an aging population and a continued decline in the proportion of married couples with children might increase the demand for more walkable, transit-friendly development closer in.

MARC's Technical Forecast Committee created two growth scenarios while developing Transportation Outlook 2040 that showed alternate ways of accommodating the region’s expected overall growth. The Baseline Scenario showed how the region would look if past development trends were extended into the future.

But local governments have begun to alter their plans and policies to adapt to new realities as their residents demand more sustainable growth patterns. The Adaptive Scenario showed how the region might look if this trend in local plans is extended into the future and carried out at a regional scale.

The adopted forecast in Transportation Outlook 2040 settled somewhere between the two ends of the growth spectrum, with a redevelopment rate between 10% and 20%, on average, over the next 30 years.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analyses for MARC's Growth Scenarios (pdf)

 

Baseline Scenario 2040

Baseline Trend 2040 map

Past trends would continue into the future. Nearly all the region's growth over the next 30 years would occur on previously undeveloped land.

Characteristics

  • Land uses remain separated
  • Greater reliance on automobiles for daily tasks
  • 176,000 acres of rural and agricultural land converted to developed uses
  • 47,000 people and 27,000 jobs leave the core of the metro
  • Widespread, scattered new growth requires an estimated $8.7 billion in expenditures on local infrastructure during the period

 

Adaptive Scenario 2040

Adaptive Trend 2040 map

Assumed that 40% of population and job growth over the next 30 years would be concentrated in activity centers and along key corridors in existing areas, older suburbs and urban places.

Characteristics

  • Mixed land uses and higher densities reduce auto dependency and make transit more effective
  • High-quality natural areas actively protected — including agricultural land — principally through stream buffers, MetroGreen®
  • 38,000 acres of rural and agricultural land converted to developed uses
  • The urban core's loss of people and jobs is essentially eliminated and virtually all existing areas grow, including the region's center cities, first suburbs and older town centers
  • Focused development and redevelopment requires an estimated $3.4 billion in expenditures on local infrastructure during the period
  • Accommodates robust economic growth in a more fiscally and environmentally sustainable manner, while improving access to economic opportunity for all residents

Note: Both scenarios show same amount of new population added to the region.