RapidFire Model

The insight2050 scenarios were produced using the RapidFire scenario modeling tool developed by the planning and design firm Calthorpe Associates. The model is a spreadsheet-based tool used to evaluate scenarios at the national, state, regional, and local scales. It constitutes a single framework into which data and research-based assumptions about the future can be loaded to test the impacts of varying land use patterns across a range of critical metrics.

The RapidFire model emerged out of the near-term need for a comprehensive modeling tool that could inform state, regional, and local agencies and policy makers in evaluating land use, energy, water, transport, and infrastructure investment policies. The model produces results for a range of metrics, including:

  • Land consumption
  • Travel behavior and vehicle miles traveled (VMT)
  • Air pollution and public health impacts
  • Fuel use and cost
  • Building energy and water use, and cost
  • Local fiscal impacts, including capital infrastructure costs, operations and maintenance costs, and local revenues
  • Greenhouse Gas (CO2e) emissions from cars and buildings

The RapidFire model underwent significant customization to prepare it for Central Ohio scenario development and analysis. This included refinement of fiscal impacts assumptions to reflect the unique cost, tax, and revenue structures of Ohio; additional sensitivity to rural housing and development types; and calibration of all analytical models to reflect Ohio land patterns and development intensities and policy assumptions.

A detailed description of the RapidFire model can be found in the RapidFire Technical Summary, available at www.calthorpe.com/scenario_modeling_tools.