Buildout Analysis

Zoning Practice — March 2006

By David Godschalk, FAICP


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How can you translate those symbols on the future land-use map or the zoning map districts into potential impacts on hazard vulnerability, community livability, and infrastructure capacity? One approach is to conduct a buildout analysis in order to generate a future growth scenario of full development.

Buildout analysis is a useful tool for planners and emergency managers who wish to anticipate the impacts of future development. Buildout analysis looks ahead to the planning horizon in order to project the amount and location of growth allowed under existing community development policies. Its findings can be used to assess the resulting impacts and to ask whether current plans, development regulations, and hazard mitigation strategies should be reconsidered.

This issue of Zoning Practice discusses how a GIS-based buildout analysis can help a community predict and plan for hazard and infrastructure vulnerabilities.


Page Count
Date Published
March 1, 2006
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Author

David Godschalk, FAICP