About Envision Tomorrow

Envision Tomorrow (ET) is an open-access scenario planning package that allows users to analyze how their community's current growth pattern and future decisions impacting growth will impact a range of measures from public health, fiscal resiliency and environmental sustainability.

Envision Tomorrow is a suite of planning tools that includes analysis tools and scenario design tools.  The analysis tools allow users to analyze aspects of their current community using commonly accessible GIS data, such as tax assessor parcel data and Census data.  The scenario painting tool allows users to "paint” alternative future development scenarios on the landscape, and compare scenario outcomes in real time.

ET provides a quick, sketch-level glimpse of the possible impacts of policies, development decisions and current growth trajectories, and can be used by communities to develop a shared vision of a desirable and attainable future. It can be applied at scales from a single parcel to a metropolitan region.  

Scenario comparisons measures include a comprehensive range of indicators relating to land use, housing, demographics, economic growth, development feasibility, fiscal impacts, transportation, environmental factors, and quality of life. 

Envision Tomorrow has been in use and under steady development for over 10 years.  In the last 3 years, the functionality and indicators available in ET has been greatly expanded through research and development funded by a series of HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant awards in the Salt Lake city region, the Austin TX region and in the Kansas City region.  A growing national community of users has established Envision Tomorrow as a national platform for scenario planning and an open source platform to will continue to innovate and evolve.

The original planning tool, Envision Tomorrow, was developed by Fregonese Associates of Portland, Oregon, who are still key users, developers, and innovators.  Recent improvements to the tool are the product of a close collaboration between the Metropolitan Research Center (MRC) and Fregonese Associates. These improvements consist of approximately 20 additional analysis tools and scenario indicators developed and incorportaed into the standard Envision Tomorrow tools and indicators as part of the Sustainable Communities grant process.  Most of the additional models are based on cutting-edge empirical research conducted at the MRC lead by Dr. Arthur "Chris" Nelson and Dr. Reid Ewing.

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