An Expert Land Use Panel was used to forecast the land use impacts of a major highway project in the Washington, DC area, the Inter-County Connector. What makes this panel noteworthy is the fact that a subgroup of panelists, convinced that the accessibility impacts of the highway were not being adequately considered by the majority, developed a simple land use allocation model which they then used to produce independent forecasts. This allows us to compare more intuitive and ad hoc forecasts based only on expert opinion with those based on a formal land use allocation model. At least in this case, the two differed sufficiently to suggest that the two processes are not mere substitutes for one another. This prompts us to recommend that subsequent panels be fed accessibility data early in the process to inform their intuitive judgments, and that simple land use allocation models be considered as a complement to expert opinion.
National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education