Navigating Trade-Offs in Complex Systems

Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) are required by Federal law to develop a long-range Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) at least every five years. This research focuses on assessing the trade-offs between business-as-usual MTP scenario of gasoline driven transportation infrastructure and suburban growth with two alternate sustainable community design scenarios in Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Area (CCMPO). The CCMPO adopted its last long-range transportation plan in 2005 for a temporal horizon of 2005 to 2025 and is currently updating 2025 MTP to 2035 MTP. The researchers implemented two focus groups with multiple stakeholder representatives of the regional transportation planning network and conducted numerous interviews to implement a participatory multi-criteria evaluation of 2035 MTP scenarios. Three MTP scenarios are evaluated on twelve decision criteria: operational performance, sustainable land-use, safety and accessibility, minimize time and total costs, protect built and natural environs, community development, access and mobility, transportation system efficiency, energy efficiency and conservation, improve alternate travel modes, public education and cost effective and inclusive. Research analysis reveals that the underlying expected value functions of all stakeholder representatives in the regional transportation planning network overwhelmingly reject the business-as-usual MTP scenario. Instead, a more sustainable, growth contained community design scenario emerges with the highest expected value for all stakeholder groups. Formal implementation of sustainable community design scenario would, however, require CCMPO and regional transportation planning network actors to overcome a series of legal, political and economic challenges. The researchers discuss the implications of these trade-offs, challenges and opportunities on the development and implementation of sustainable community designs.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $11080.00
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Troy, Austin

    Aultman-Hall, Lisa

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Vermont, Burlington

    Transportation Center, 210 Colchester Avenue
    Farrell Hall
    Burlington, VT  United States  05405
  • Principal Investigators:

    Zia, Asim

  • Start Date: 20090701
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20110131
  • Source Data: RiP Project 28543

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01566208
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: UVM Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT06-G-0018, 025071
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jun 12 2015 1:01AM