SAVES™ is future land use modeling software that allows for the preparation of multiple development scenarios and an instantaneous estimate of their quantified impacts. It is a user-friendly program that allows interactive “painting” of land use categories over maps.

When “painting” is completed, SAVES™ scans the alternatives and feeds the land use plan into a sophisticated spreadsheet, which calculates the acreage of each proposed land use and performs detailed environmental, community, and/or fiscal impact analyses. SAVES™ is designed to assist in land use plan scenario analysis and can also serve as an ongoing monitoring and decision guidance system for plan implementation.

SAVES™ contains various models to calculate resulting impacts of each development alternative, which makes it a useful tool for consensus-building during the planning process. Ideas submitted during public processes can be modeled in real time, showing the impacts that a proposed scenario would have on population, housing requirements, school enrollment, sewer and water demand, employment, trip generation, and established levels of service. Even the fiscal consequences of alternative futures can be evaluated, among a wide range of impact analyses that can be included.

The development impact analysis is the focus of SAVES™. For a selected land use alternative, the window displays the concise coverage by land use category, which is also displayed as a percentage of the total acreage. The lower portion of the window displays the development impact categories and the calculated results. The effects are presented as the total impact for a selected sub-area, the change from existing conditions, and the cumulative impact for all sub-areas. The sub-areas may be masked to include school enrollment boundaries, water sheds, drainage basins, park zones, and traffic analysis zones, among others. Using SAVES™, our planners and our clients can select among any combination of plan alternatives from various sub-areas and instantly calculate the projected cumulative impacts and variation from existing conditions.

Benefits of SAVES™

  • Any number of future development alternatives can be quickly developed, with impacts instantaneously compared among all alternatives.
  • The impacts of new development can be easily projected, which allows decisions to be made efficiently and plans to be modified on a continuing basis.
  • Changes in development can be reflected in SAVES™ during the course of a meeting, thereby allowing the resulting impacts to be made immediately available and compared against a previous plan or existing development.
  • The system is fully customizable, meaning that, generally, any impact associated with a change in land use can be embedded in the model. Thus, the system offers complex analysis of multiple factors (population, school enrollment, trip generation, and even fiscal consequences).
  • The model only requires a PC using Microsoft Windows, which means that it can be operated by a casual user who is not familiar with geographic information systems (“GIS”).
  • The model may be designed to work with either raster or vector maps and can integrate seamlessly with ArcView GIS or other mapping platforms.
  • The spreadsheet that is embedded in the program to calculate impacts is generated simultaneously with each alternative, thereby enhancing efficiency and accuracy.
  • SAVES™ permits the same level of analysis that goes into a comprehensive demographic study to be applied to small areas (e.g., areas pertaining to annexation, infrastructure, and special studies), thereby providing benefit on a continuous basis.