Title                                                 Brief Description
             (in chronological order)                                                                  (click the title to read  the paper)

The  Urban Transportation Planning Process, book chapter in press. 


I review the history of travel modeling and make recommendations for good agency practice in travel modeling. I suggest that accuracy requires the use of land use models, in conjunction with travel models. 

A Graduate Course Comparing the Major Types of Urban Models, with Michael Clay. Research report for UC Transportation Center, 2004.


We describe our experience teaching an overview course on urban modeling for graduate students at the University of California, Davis. It was decided at the outset that we would let the students run actual calibrated models in this class. This may be the first course where students were exposed to GIS models, as well as to spatial competition (economic) models.  We conclude that the active learning format was successful in getting the students to understand the purposes of the various types of models and their limitations. 


Faculty seminar, March 2004, reviewing urban modeling in my lab over the last few years. Also, outlining current projects of my grad students. 

Streamlining the NEPA Process through Cooperative Local-State-Federal Transportation and Land Use Planning (presented at TRB, 2004)


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, FHWA, and California DOT have initiated a demonstration in California called Partnership for Integrated Planning. The purpose of this program is to get early involvement from local, State, and Federal agency staff people to help plan for transportation infrastructure, urban growth, and resource protection together, rather than to only negotiate over permits for major infrastructure at the project stage. We report on this demonstration project here.  This project applies a simple GIS-based urban growth model to evaluate a transportation plan and projects in Merced County (pop. 211,000 in 2000). Our interviews with the agency participants show that, in general, resource agency personnel have limited involvement with transportation planning and transportation planners have limited knowledge of environmental planning, and so they need to work out methods for identifying their concerns for 20-year planning purposes. Planning for resource protection for a whole county is quite different from arguing for maximum protection of resources at the project scale. We review the early steps in building the model and acquiring datasets.


We review the problems that need to be addressed in Planning for Sustainable Development. Then, we outline the suite of models being used by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments in their 50-year scenario process. 

UPlan: A Versatile Urban Growth Model for Transportation Planning (TRB paper, Jan. , 2003) Published in 2004.


We review urban models useful in transportation planning, focusing especially on ones that are based on geographic information systems (GIS) software. We then describe UPlan, a simple model written by us in the ArcView GIS. Several different applications of UPlan are outlined, involving transportation planning and the analysis of the growth-inducing effects of new facilitites, to demonstrate its use. Such models are coming into use for NEPA assessments and for joint land use and transportation planning.

A comparison of Highway and Travel Demand Management Alternatives Using an Integrated Land Use and Transportation Model in the Sacramento Region (Jan. 2002, in PDF format) In this study, we apply an integrated land use and transportation model, the Sacramento MEPLAN model, to evaluate transit investment alternatives combined with supportive land use policies and pricing polices in the Sacramento region.
Comparisons from the Sacramento Model Testbed (in PDF format) Three land use and transport interaction models were applied to the Sacramento, CA region by various teams of researchers. The results of these efforts were compared with each other and with the traditional transport demand model used by the regional government.
A Detailed Description of the Uplan Urban Growth Model. (July 2001)

UPLAN is a GIS-based expert decision rule urban growth model that was conceived by Robert Johnston at UC Davis and built by David Shabazian. 

Uplan: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. (July 2001) A brief overview of the Uplan model, its history and its planned future use.

Heuristic Policy Analysis of Regional Land Use, Transit, and Travel Pricing Scenarios Using Two Urban Models (June 2001)

To address some of the uncertainties inherent in large-scale models, two very different urban models, an advanced travel demand model and an integrated land use and transportation model, are applied to evaluate land use, transit, and auto pricing policies in the Sacramento, California (U.S.), region. 
A Comparison of High Occupancy Toll Lanes and High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes in the Sacramento Region. (Jan. 2001) As the evidence mounts that HOV lanes may not deliver expected reductions in congestion and emissions, alternatives are being sought. High occupancy toll lanes are one attractive alternative. A region-wide system of new HOV lanes in the Sacramento region is compared to a system of HOT lanes for the year 2015.

Anatomy of Induced Travel: Using An Integrated Land Use and Transportation Model in the Sacramento Region (Nov. 2000)

In this study, an integrated land use and transportation model, MEPLAN, is used to evaluate the potential importance of land use and trip distribution induced travel effects in the Sacramento, California, region.  
Strategic Analysis for Infrastructure Planning in California. (Aug. 2000) Remarks of Robert A. Johnston (UC Davis) to Staff of the Commission on Building for the 21st Century and Governorís Cabinet
A Statewide Database in GIS for Planning California's Infrastructure for the 21st Century. (June 2000) Bob Johnston, Center for Urban Behavior and the Environment, 06/2000
Urban Model Comparison Project. (March 2000) Bob Johnston, 03/2000
Applying an Integrated Urban Model in the Evaluation of Travel Demand Management Policies in the Sacramento Region: Year Two. (March 2000) In Year Two, we wish to further improve the model by adding submodels for floorspace and for heavy truck freight. We will also interface the urban model with our geographic information system (GIS) model, to permit the citizens groups to select areas to protect from development and to portray the land use maps for the future transportation scenarios.
The ICE Models: Uplan, An Urban Growth Model Heplan, A Habitat Evaluation and Planning model. (Jan. 2000) The purposes of these GIS models are: 1. Use in the Statewide Habitat Assessment process. 2. Use for the assessment of the cumulative impacts of urban growth, under CEQA and NEPA. 3. Developed in ArcView to run on a PC. Demonstrated on the Sacramento region. Free. Easy to use. 4. State agencies may wish to support these models and to disseminate them to local governments. Several states support local planning with GIS help.
Urban Models in California. (Nov. 1999) Bob Johnston, 11/1999
Land Use Planning Battles Heat Up. (Oct. 1999) Recent editorials in the Sac Bee about the lawsuit against SACOG's regional transportation plan highlights the state of land use planning affairs in the region.
Sprawl is a Symptom not a Cause. (Sept. 1999) Longer View Piece for the Journal of America Planning Association.
Air quality analysis of transportation: Is it important to model the land use effects of transportation scenarios? (July 1999) One of the most theoretically consistent and practical integrated land use and transportation models, MEPLAN, is used to simulate low-emission scenarios for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Sacramento region over a 25 year period
Applying an Integrated Urban Model to the Evaluation of Travel Demand Management Policies in the Sacramento Region. (March 1999) We have applied a test version of an integrated urban model (travel and land use) to the Sacramento, California region over the last four years. In order to make the model more sensitive to Travel Demand Management (TDM) policies, such as transit and compact land use, we wish to make several improvements to the model.
Comprehensive Regional Modeling for Long-Range Planning: Linking Integrated Urban Models to Geographic Information System. (Oct. 1998) This study demonstrates the sequential linking of two types of models to permit the comprehensive evaluation of regional transportation and land use policies.
Capabilities for Modeling Urban Growth and its impacts. (Dec. 1997) Analysis and prediction can help to identify common ground among user groups, as they come to understand and accept current problems and future likely problems.
Synergisms Among Land Use, Transit, and Travel Pricing Policies. We review empirical studies of the effects of land use on travel behavior and conclude that increasing density and mix can decrease vehicle kilometers of travel (VKT) (vehicle miles of travel (VMT)).
The Uplan Urban Growth Model. Analysis of the Impacts of Urban Growth Derived from the Land Use Coverage: Uplan, A GIS Model.