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Planner's Estimating Guide

Projecting Land-Use and Facility Needs

By Arthur C. Nelson

This book gives planning practitioners a powerful tool to help decide where to put new development. It revolutionizes the job of estimating land-use and facility needs.

Published by APA Planners Press , 2004

Format: Paperback , 208 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-884829-76-5

Quick order code: APEG

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The United States faces enormous changes in the next 25 years. Arthur C. (Chris) Nelson starts this book with a few projections: The population will grow by one-third to 375 million. We will need 60 million new housing units to house these people. There will be 60 percent more jobs, requiring 50 billion additional square feet of nonresidential space. The bottom line is that half of all development in 2030 will have been built since 2000. Nelson estimates the cost of new construction alone to be at least $20 trillion.

This book gives planning practitioners a powerful tool to help decide where to put this new development. It does not advocate one development scenario over another, but it revolutionizes the job of estimating land-use and facility needs.

Planner's Estimating Guide offers easy-to-use formulas and worksheets that are formatted in an Excel workbook on CD-ROM and carefully explained in the text. They make it easy to figure future requirements for countless scenarios. The workbook and text deal with a 20-year planning horizon for a fictitious county, but both the time projection and scale are entirely adaptable to myriad local circumstances.

The program allows you to gather a first impression of future land-use needs, and revise it to reflect local limitations. For example, if the landscape in question won't support the land-use estimations, change the assumptions in the workbook to devise new estimates. The workbook shows the implications of growth based on standard assumptions; you can change the assumptions as needed to reflect local conditions — including public input — to see how outcomes change.

Use the workbook as a model for testing local sensitivities with respect to land supply constraints and changes in policy assumptions. The results won't tell you what to do, but will reveal the numerical implications of different scenarios. The book is written principally for practitioners, and also for planning students as a primary or supplementary text.

Used creatively, the powerful tools in Planner's Estimating Guide will help you determine the numerical implications of an almost infinite number of future circumstances that may affect your community.

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