Implementing a New Mobility Vision for Rancho Higuera in a Deeply Uncertain, Fast-Changing World

Results from RAND Corporation Participatory Local Planning Workshops

by Robert J. Lempert, Tim McDonald, Steven W. Popper, Diogo Prosdocimi, Thomas A. Small

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Culver City, with 40,000 residents, lies at the crossroads of key transportation corridors in west Los Angeles, between downtown Los Angeles and the beaches of Santa Monica. A booming local economy contributes to significant traffic congestion. The city's Transit Oriented Development (TOD) plan reimagines mobility, shifting from cars to other transit modes.

But the TOD vision presents Culver City with a significant challenge of transformational change requiring shifts in the city's landscape and the expectations and habits of its citizens. In addition, Culver City must pursue this vision at a time of rapid expansion of mobility options, such as e-scooters and shared vehicles.

To help realize its TOD vision, Culver City partnered with the RAND Corporation to develop an implementation plan for its Rancho Higuera neighborhood. The RAND team's efforts focused on two key concepts: decision making under deep uncertainty (DMDU) and a "shadow" process of citizen involvement in parallel to and interacting with more-formal planning.

In a series of scenario-visioning and stress-testing workshops, participants including city staff, developers, and Rancho Higuera residents generated an augmented plan that included a phased implementation approach to improving the city's mobility. This plan aims to meet the needs of Rancho Higuera residents, reduce the deleterious effects of traffic on surrounding communities and businesses, and enhance robustness against a variety of potential surprises. The DMDU shadow process helped introduce new policy options into the city's discussions, accelerated implementation, and provided a template for future efforts within Culver City and nationwide.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    The Rancho Higuera Neighborhood Association Plan

  • Chapter Three

    DMDU Approaches

  • Chapter Four

    Project Workshops and Products

  • Chapter Five

    Impacts and Discussion

  • Appendix A

    Memo Describing Scenario Workshop

  • Appendix B

    Workshop Summary

  • Appendix C

    Traffic-Flow Simulation Model

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