Sustain Southern Maine worked with the University of Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative funded through the National Science Foundation to develop methods to visualize, analyze, and discuss growth patterns and preferences about the future of growth at the regional scale. Unlike many metropolitan areas, the greater Portland region does not have a unified database for planning purposes other than specialized but limited trip modeling for transportation planning. Information for spatial planning such as zoning and vacant land availability is maintained by each separate local government. The Sustainability Solutions Initiative has been working to build a high-end regional simulation model using UrbanSim. Using the data created for and by the simulation model faculty of the Muskie School of Public Service/University of Southern Maine have been experimenting with transferring this data to the simpler CommunityViz software platform. The simpler platform allows for easier and more accessible use of visualization and modeling within a public engagement process.
In this Knowledge Sharing session Jack Kartez, a professor with the Muskie School, reviewed the work conducted to develop and implement a model of the region within the CommunityViz platform. Eric Larsson, a graduate student of the Muskie School, presented some regional data sets developed for the model. A demonstration of the CommunityViz software’s ability to do real time audience interaction exercises was conducted. The session concluded with a discussion of regional drivers for spatial settlement patters, both for the whole population and the aging population subset.
Audio recordings of the session are available below.