PPACG developed a fact sheet comparing the benefits and costs of the three land use scenarios developed for use in the 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and Small Area Forecast. These scenarios represent three possible ways the Pikes Peak Region could grow and develop over the next 25 years, and were developed with extensive input from community stakeholders and PPACG’s member governments.


The Small Area Forecast (SAF) is a socioeconomic forecast used to model the location of population and employment within El Paso and Teller counties over the next 25 years. PPACG uses Census data, commercial employment data sets, local planning knowledge, and advanced modeling software to develop this forecast. The SAF serves as a key input for the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and the regional travel model. The travel model and the Small Area Forecast are used in tandem to determine future transportation needs and develop potential growth scenarios.


The State Demographer’s Office develops an annual forecast for population and job growth for each county in Colorado. The State Demographer’s forecast is used as a control total in the land use model. PPACG staff uses our land use model UrbanSim to spatially allocate these people and jobs throughout our planning area. This process helps determine the need for future transportation projects to ensure continued mobility and access throughout the PPACG region.


MPOs are required to develop a demographic forecast, as described in 23 CFR 450.324(e): “The MPO shall base the [RTP] update on the latest available estimates and assumptions for population, land use, travel, employment, congestion, and economic activity.”


Results and Summary Documents

The 2045 Small Area Forecast was approved by the PPACG Board of Directors on July 11, 2018. The Small Area Forecast Report and output from our land use model UrbanSim are now available for download. The Small Area Forecast report describes the methodology, assumptions, and process used to develop the forecast. It also includes a set of maps used to show changes in jobs and housing density throughout the forecast period (2015 to 2045). The report is available for download below (63 MB PDF):

Two types of maps were created to summarize model output – change maps and density maps. The change maps (download PDF) show whether a given transportation analysis zone (TAZ) is predicted to gain or lose jobs and/or residential units during the forecast period (2015 to 2045). The density maps (download PDF) show the number of jobs or residential units per acre in 2015, 2030, and 2045. Scrolling through this map series has a “flip book” effect, and clearly illustrates changes in density throughout the Pikes Peak Region during the forecast period. We also developed an interactive version of these maps (KMZ file), which can be downloaded and then opened in Google Earth. The PDFs and KMZs both contain the same information, but the PDFs are a static representation of the data while the KMZs are interactive (i.e. you can turn layers on and off, zoom in and out, etc.)

Please contact John Liosatos at jliosatos@ppacg.org with questions or comments about the Small Area Forecast.