Case Study

Dover, Kohl & Partners Enhances Climate Action Plans with Advanced Scenario Planning

Dover, Kohl & Partners Leverages UrbanFootprint to Predict Environmental Changes

Dover, Kohl & Partners is dedicated to creating great places where people want to be. The firm’s expansive planning portfolio includes projects that range in scale from the redevelopment of a single city block to regional plans that cover millions of people.

In recent years, Dover, Kohl & Partners has been working with some of the cities most vulnerable to climate change, from low-lying coastal cities in Florida and Louisiana to desert communities in Texas and New Mexico, to plan for a hotter and more turbulent world. Jason King, Principal & Senior Project Director explains, “As federal commitment oscillates up and down, local planners must use land use authority and action plans to mitigate climate change and adapt to it. When it comes to fighting climate change, the smallest government unit, the municipality, has all new responsibilities.”

Since 1987, Dover, Kohl & Partners has applied their holistic approach to sustainable community building toward numerous award-winning initiatives.

UrbanFootprint has played an essential role in expanding Dover, Kohl & Partner’s scenario planning capabilities.

Jason King, Principal & Senior Project Director, Dover, Kohl & Partners

As an early leader in the climate action planning space – note their award-winning, 2012 Plan El Paso work – Dover, Kohl & Partners decided to double down and expand their capabilities in this area with UrbanFootprint. With a built-in scenario planning toolkit and a suite of analysis modules to measure impacts on emissions, water use, transportation, energy use, risk and resilience factors, and more, Dover, Kohl & Partners empowered their team to produce detailed exhibits and in-depth analyses to quickly assess potential solutions for smart, sustainable growth. 

“When it comes to scenario planning for climate action plans, UrbanFootprint provides an excellent shorthand for imagining multiple future scenarios and comparing their environmental performance,” King explains.

UrbanFootprint displays land usage data for Lubbock, TX – different colors pertain to different categories.

Using UrbanFootprint to measure the impact of land use on water conservation and emissions in Lubbock, Texas

In Lubbock, Texas where Dover, Kohl & Partners is currently working as part of a team to update the city’s zoning code, the firm used UrbanFootprint to build scenarios that analyze greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and households and to measure per capita and city wide water use.

Proposed solutions for a population increase of 70,000 in Lubbock, TX, as predicted by 2030.

Water use is a particularly important issue to agricultural communities like Lubbock where major crops are highly threatened by increases in temperatures and drought. Dover, Kohl & Partners used UrbanFootprint to explore how land use patterns impact water consumption and the cost to extend water utility infrastructure. They explored the impact of current land use trends in Lubbock, which have trended toward water consumptive outward expansion along highways, and compared the results across  multiple scenarios with more compact and connected development focused in and around Lubbock’s Downtown.

UrbanFootprint’s analysis of residential water use in Lubbock, TX. Darker blue sections denote higher water usage.

As King explains, “UrbanFootprint helped us model different land use updates in downtown Lubbock and surrounding farmlands to calculate the effect on natural resources quickly and easily. While exact forecasts of carbon pollution and water usage requires time, we as planners must be able to speedily brainstorm with the public and sketch potential solutions. Land use goal creation can be informed by using UrbanFootprint outputs, and exact measurement can follow.”

UrbanFootprint’s analysis of future greenhouse gas emissions in Lubbock, TX. Note the change between scenarios (building downtown vs. sprawling south).

Dover, Kohl & Partners will continue to use UrbanFootprint’s analyses in their ongoing work to create a new zoning and land use code that incentivizes development in downtown Lubbock. “UrbanFootprint’s intuitive workflows have allowed us to expand the number of team members that can produce great scenario planning work,” King explains. “The preloaded data and scenario planning capabilities have allowed us to save time and expand upon key conversational scenario planning exercises.”

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