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Modeling the Urban Continuum in an Integrated Framework: Location Choice, Activity-Travel Behavior, and Dynamic Traffic Patterns

Project Information

Project ID: 
Project Status: 
Start Date: 
Monday, July 7, 2008
End Date: 
Monday, December 31, 2012
FHWA Program: 
Exploratory Advanced Research
FHWA Subprogram: 
Transportation Planning
FHWA Topics: 
Research/Technologies--FHWA Research and Technology
TRT Terms: 
Research; Traffic Simulation; Transportation Planning; Travel Demand; Land Use Planning; Traffic Forecasting
FHWA Discipline: 
TRB Subject Area: 
Planning and Forecasting

Contact Information

First Name: 
Last Name: 
(202) 518-1212
Email Address: 
Systems Planning and Analysis Team
Office of Planning
Office Code: 

Project Details

Project Description: 

The project proposes research to integrate three major aspects of transportation planning: land use planning, traffic simulation and modeling, and travel demand forecasting. The innovative claims focus on the integration of these three elements across multiple spatial and temporal scales.


The objective is to investigate approaches for multiscale model integration.

Project Findings: 

SimTRAVEL, developed in this project, is an integrated modeling system that advances land-use and transportation microsimulation by providing seamless modeling of longer term choices about location (home, work, school) and shorter term choices of activity, travel mode, and route. SimTRAVEL integrates the use of UrbanSim (a land-use model), OpenAMOS (an activity-based microsimulation model), PopGen (a state-of-the-art synthetic population generator), and DynusT/MALTA (a dynamic traffic assignment and microsimulation model) within a behaviorally robust framework. The integrated systems have been fully implemented in a user-friendly software environment with powerful graphical user interfaces and visualization dashboards. Open-source software architecture with multithreading and parallel-computing capabilities speeds simulations. SimTRAVEL was successfully tested and validated on a 500,000 population subregion of Maricopa County, AZ.