The NJTPA developed a web-based Planning Visualization Tools or “ViZtools” to illustrate how a wide range of factors relate to the multiple facets of regional planning. Available on NJTPA’s website, ViZtools employs innovative approaches to visualization, depicting planning indicators with various techniques, including maps, charts, images, videos and interactive technology.
The tools support NJTPA planning activities and those of its member and partner agencies —particularly the analysis, outreach and visioning that shape the NJTPA Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). ViZtools makes the technical knowledge of planning agencies more accessible to the general public and sets the stage for meaningful dialogue about planning challenges.
Users can explore a specific planning topic or multiple topics in meaningful ways, such as through different “lenses” of interest (e.g., economic, land use, environmental, fiscal, etc.). Topics are selected from among significant policy emphasis areas for the NJTPA, including smart economic growth, complete streets and transit oriented development and will contribute important themes for Regional Transportation Plan development.
ViZtools includes three key elements:
Assess Current Conditions Tools provides visualization tools that depict the existing conditions of a place. Users are able to examine various sets of indicators at a variety of geographic scales. They are able to “see” through different “lenses of interest” (e.g., economic, land use, traffic flow, environmental, fiscal, etc.) and “focus” on various geographies.
View Forecast Tools allows users to view anticipated impacts resulting from varying inputs, and also conditions of a place (both existing and future) based on the interaction of various planning factors.
Sketch a Future Scenario Tools allows users to create their own scenarios that can be saved and submitted to the NJTPA as input into RTP development. Users are able to make land use planning choices (e.g., population, housing, employment, open space and retail space) and to suggest different levels of emphasis on regional capital investment strategies (e.g., road expansion, road preservation & enhancement, transit expansion, transit preservation & enhancement, bridges, freight, safety, bike/pedestrian, and Intelligent Transportation Systems/Transportation Demand Management (ITS/ TDM).
ViZtools was developed by the NJTPA with assistance from the following consulting firms: Placeways, Azavea, Fitzgerald & Halliday, and Parsons-Brinckerhoff.