Greater Philadelphia Future Forces
Technical Report

Greater Philadelphia Future Forces

Product No.: 16007
Date Published: 03/2016

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This effort builds scenarios off a set of Future Forces of change in Greater Philadelphia. Future Forces may accelerate or reverse current trends, or create new ones that significantly impact demographics, development patterns, use of the regional transportation system, the economy, and/or the environment. These Future Forces were identified collaboratively by the Greater Philadelphia Futures Group consisting of regional stakeholder experts: • Enduring Urbanism – People and jobs moving to walkable centers is the start of a long-term trend. • The Free Agent Economy – Increased outsourcing and automation means individuals must create their own economic opportunities. • Severe Climate – Continued rise in atmospheric carbon levels lead to significant disruptions from climate change. • Transportation on Demand – Smartphones, apps, and real-time information help people get around using a variety of new and existing transportation modes. • The U.S. Energy Boom – An abundance of domestically produced oil and natural gas keeps the cost of energy low. The Future Forces were analyzed and modeled as what-if scenarios out to the year 2045. This highlights how the region may change over the next 30 years, with potential shifts in transportation demand, and identifies specific opportunities that may arise and challenges the region is likely to face. Lastly, the report identifies actions needed to better position the region to respond to these Future Forces. Contingent actions and skills are specific to each force, and leading indicators can be used to determine if it is occurring in the region. Universal actions are beneficial regardless of which forces arise. A shorter, more graphic report (Greater Philadelphia Future Forces, DVRPC Publication Number 16007A) was developed to accompany this technical version.

Geographic Area Covered: Nine-county DVRPC region consisting of Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Mercer counties in New Jersey; and Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania.

Key Words: Future Forces, Futures Group, Background Forces, What-If Scenarios, Enduring Urbanism, Free Agent Economy, Severe Climate, Transportation on Demand, U.S. Energy Boom, Universal Actions, Contingent Actions, Autonomous Vehicles, Ride Sourcing, Micro Transit, Leading Indicators, Decision Making, Goods Movement, Transportation Infrastructure, On-Demand Outsourcing, On-Demand Economy, Sharing Economy, Freelancers, Gig Economy, Automation, Robotics, Energy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Climate Change, Technology, Mobile Communications, Real-Time Information.

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