New GIS tool models housing density growth to reflect climate and land use

Tapping into the power of GIS to model housing density growth scenarios just got a little easier. EPA just released ICLUS, which stands for Integrated Climate and Land Use Scenarios. According to EPA, this new tool enables you to:

  • customize housing density patterns by altering household size and travel time assumptions;;
  • summarize patterns by region, watershed, county, or NLCD 2001 land cover classes;
  • reclassify housing density into classes different than those already provided; and
  • generate a map of estimated impervious surface based on a housing density map.

You can access the user manual on the EPA website here. Due to its file size, the tool itself is not on this website but can be obtained by emailing Britta Biergwagen ([email protected]) for access to the FTP site.

From the Federal Register Notice:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of a final Geographic Information System (GIS) tool and final user’s guide titled, “ICLUS v1.3 User’s Manual: ArcGIS Tools and Datasets for Modeling U.S. Housing Density Growth” (EPA/600/R-09/ 143F). The tool and its documentation were prepared by the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) within EPA’s Office of Research and Development. The GIS tool can be used to modify land use scenarios for the conterminous United States. ICLUS stands for Integrated Climate and Land Use Scenarios, a project which is described in the 2009 EPA Report, “Land-Use Scenarios: National-Scale Housing-Density Scenarios Consistent with Climate Change Storylines.” These scenarios are broadly consistent with global-scale, peer-reviewed storylines of population growth and economic development, which are used by climate change modelers to develop projections of future climate.