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Land Use

  1. Existing and Historical Land Use
  2. Land Use Modeling and Forecasting

Regional land use distribution is typically recognized as one of the underlying factors driving the demand for transportation and other infrastructures and facilities. Pima Association of Governments has been actively working with its member jurisdictions to compile land use information and forecast the future land use and development to support various important planning efforts in Pima County.

Specifically, PAG uses the latest decennial or special census information, employment data from commercial sources, and general land use plans and visions developed by jurisdictions  to produce the projections of population, housing units and employment at both region and TAZ (Traffic Analysis Zone) level. PAG’s travel demand and air quality models use these projections to forecast traffic and vehicle emissions, which subsequently are used to inform a wide variety of other regional planning programs.

Existing and Historical Land Use

The existing and historical land use portrays the historical evolution pattern of population, employment and other aspects in Pima County. Pima Association of Governments (PAG) works with jurisdictions to compile the land use information and develop maps to inform the decision-making and support various planning studies in Pima County.

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Land Use Modeling and Forecasting

Pima Association of Governments (PAG) uses its land use model, SAM-IM, to develop future land use and population scenarios for the Tucson metropolitan region.  SAM, short for Small-area Allocation Model, both spatially and temporally allocates forecasted growth of housing units, population and employment based on existing land use, planned land use (e.g., jurisdictional general plans), constraints on land development, and known development projects. This modeling tool enables planners to simulate the development of our region in ways that are consistent with assumed regional population and employment growth and various physical and policy constraints. PAG, historically, has developed 25-year population and employment projections for sub-county areas. The land use model, however, adds the ability to visualize the impact of alternative future land use scenarios on where housing, population, and employment will be located in the coming years at a more granular level.

Long-Range Transportation Planning with SAM
PAG, in consultation with Pima county jurisdictions, developed three future land use scenarios as part of the 2045 Regional Mobility and Accessibility Plan (RMAP), a process to update the region’s long-range transportation plan. These scenarios and the methodology to create them are documented in the 2045 RMAP Land Use Technical Report and 2045 RMAP Presentation shown below . According to the most recent projections created by the Arizona Department of Administration and PAG, between 2010 and 2045 our region is expected to add approximately 463,000 residents and 239,000 jobs. Growth of urbanized land, combining both residential and commercial development, is a metric that can be used to visualize the outcomes of the alternative land use scenarios. Each scenario was constructed with different assumptions about how the region will grow. “Trend” continues the existing low density pattern of development; “Imagine Greater Tucson” (IGT) features denser development in town centers and redevelopment areas; and “Plan Future,” the 2045 RMAP adopted scenario for the region, highlights growth in redevelopment areas with increased density. (See maps of urbanized areas).

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