Painting a Scenario

Create a new scenario, paint, and track growth.

UrbanFootprint scenarios are used to examine the impacts of land use and development change, technological or policy change as expressed through analysis parameters, or some combination of these. Scenarios are defined by applying or 'painting' Building Types and/or Place Types to canvas features. In this tutorial, we'll create a new scenario and get started with painting.

Before you start developing scenarios in earnest, it's important to review the land use types and library settings that you will be using. You may use the default set of types that come loaded with UrbanFootprint, or you may choose to create your own. See the previous tutorials on creating Components and types for guidance.

Data Layers

Scenario Canvas


1. Create a new scenario. Click theicon to the right of the scenario tabs and select the Base Scenario or any existing scenario as the basis for your new scenario.

Creating a new scenario

Alternatively, click to expand the menu for either the Base Scenario tab or the tab of the existing scenario you would like to copy. Select Create scenario (if creating a scenario from the Base Canvas) or Duplicate (if creating a scenario as a copy).

Your new scenario will be created and a tab for your new scenario will appear when finished. You'll also see a confirmation message at the bottom of your screen.

Whether created as a clone of the Base Canvas or as a duplicate of an existing scenario, your new scenario will maintain all the data layers of the original scenario, with the exception of any analysis output layers. Analysis output layers are generated the first time you run a module for a scenario.

2. Rename your new scenario. By default, new scenarios are given names with sequential numbers. Click to expand the menu for the tab of your new scenario, then select Edit Details. Enter a scenario name and description in the window that appears.

3. Activate the Scenario Canvas layer for your new scenario. The Scenario Canvas represents your scenario. When you create a new scenario from the Base Scenario, the Scenario Canvas is created as a copy of the Base Canvas.

4. Symbolize the Scenario Canvas layer on the 'Land Use Type (L4)' column. This column contains the Building and/or Place Type classifications for the Base Canvas.

5. Enter Build mode. Click the Build iconin the Mode bar. Alternatively, you can enter Build mode by activating the Scenario Canvas layer and selecting the Build tab in the Layer Details pane. The Build controls appear in the Layer Details pane.

6. Select one or more features on the Scenario Canvas to paint. You can select features using the manual selection tools, or apply filters to select features based on particular criteria -- for example, vacant parcels, parcels within a size range, parcels within walking distance of transit, or underutilized parcels suitable for redevelopment.

You can also use reference data layers, or upload local data, to use as join layers to create filtered selections of features in the Scenario Canvas. In this manner, you could use data representing zoning, land use plans, or planned development projects as guides to select and paint features.

For our example, we'll apply a filter to select features according to their existing Building Type.

6a. Click the Filter tab for the Scenario Canvas.

6b. Click Add filter +, then select the Land Use Type (L4) column.

6c. Select "Parking Surface Lot" from the list of L4 values. (Since our project uses a parcel-level canvas, the L4 values are Building Types.)

6d. Click the Zoom to selection map view control to see the extent of where the selected features are located.

6e. Pan and zoom on the map to review the selection of features. Using the Satellite base map option and decreasing the opacity of the scenario canvas can help with a visual review.

6f. Edit your selection. You may choose to refine your filter criteria -- for example, to filter by feature size using the Gross Area column. You can also edit your selection manually by holding down the Shift key and using the Point selection toolto deselect features. (You cannot add features to your selection if they do not meet the filter criteria that you already specified.)

Our filter resulted in a selection of 56 parcels. Though in reality we wouldn't paint them all with the same type, we'll keep our sample selection simple and not edit it any further.

Scenario Build mode, with a map view showing two of the selected features to be painted

7. Select a type to paint with. Click the Building Types button to open the Building Types selection window. The menu entry for each type indicates the residential and employment densities. You can click the expand arrow in the upper right corner to see more details. Select a type and the window will close.

Building Types selection window

9. Review the program summary corresponding to your selection. The summary contains dwelling unit (DU), population, and employment counts associated with the selected features and type to be painted. You can use this information to decide whether to paint or change your selections.

The program preview for the paint selection shows that painting the 56 parking lot parcels with the "Urban Townhome/Live-Work" Building Type will accommodate 460 new dwelling units, 822 residents, and 236 new employees. The 10 employees associated with development in the Base Canvas will be lost.

Paint selection preview

10. Apply the selected type. Click the Paint 56 features button. The features will be painted accordingly. The paint will be reflected in the Painted row of the Program table, in the scenario canvas summary charts, on the map, and in the Data Table.

11. Reverse your paints. If you need to make any changes, use the Revert x to base, Undo, or Redo controls. Reverting effectively returns features to their base condition. Undo and redo are applied to your sequence of past actions, independent of the features that are currently selected.

12. Track scenario growth. As you continue to select and paint features, use the scenario canvas summary charts to track scenario growth. This is useful if you are building scenarios to meet control totals for new growth.

The Dwelling Units by Type summary chart tracks scenario growth

13. View comparative statistics for your scenario. Enter Report mode and select Summary Statistics to see charts that compare population, housing, households, jobs, and building area characteristics across scenarios.