January 7-11, 2018
Washington, D.C.
TRB 97th Annual Meeting

Geodesign for Planning a Regional Network of Alternative Fuel Stations

Sunday, January 07, 2018, 1:30 PM-4:30 PM, Convention Center
Michael Kuby, Arizona State University, presiding
Sponsored by Standing Committee on Alternative Transportation Fuels and Technologies; Standing Committee on Public Involvement in Transportation; Standing Committee on Transportation and Air Quality; Standing Committee on Transportation Energy; and Standing Committee on Freight Transportation Planning and Logistics

This hands-on workshop demonstrates a collaborative, participatory geodesign approach to planning for refueling infrastructure. Through analysis and discussion within and between groups, participants will prioritize locations for a fueling network in the American Southwest. Participants will use an intuitive, interactive, online mapping platform to visualize and evaluate station locations. The open-source tool can be adapted to different types of fueling and charging infrastructure at any geographic scale, including for passenger and freight vehicles. The example used in this workshop is for CNG truck-fueling networks, but the tool can be extended to other fuels such as biofuels, hydrogen, and electricity, such as for FAST Act planning.

Introduction of Geodesign Network Planning Tool
Michael Kuby, Arizona State University

Geodesign is a collaborative design and planning method that tightly couples creation of design proposals with real-time impact simulations facilitated by GIS for use in stakeholder workshops. Originally developed for land-use planning workshops, we have adapted the geodesign approach to locating alternative-fuel station infrastructure. In this short presentation, Dr. Michael Kuby, a geographer specializing in station location models, will introduce Collablocation, a collaborative laboratory for location planning (https://collablocation.shinyapps.io/geodesign/). The Collablocation platform is an open-source, intuitive, online mapping tool for use in stakeholder workshops for prioritizing new locations for fuel stations. Geodesign puts simple but powerful visualization and testing tools in the hands of stakeholders, who work within and between groups to develop, evaluate, and compare solutions towards a final recommendation. Stakeholders are not limited to the data in the tool but can bring their prior knowledge and experience to the table. In the current application, the geographic scale and data layers are for regional planning of CNG truck stops, but the platform and approach is adaptable to other fuels (electric charging, hydrogen, biofuels), other geographic scales (from local to international), and for passenger or freight vehicles. 

Hands-on Use of COLLABLOCATION Tool and Discussion
Keiron Bailey, University of Arizona

We will spend about 2 hours conducting a mini-workshop to prioritize where CNG stations are needed for expanding the use of CNG-fueled trucks in the Southwest US. We will go through two stages of planning. In each stage, participants will work in pairs using the online Collablocation geodesign tool to add a given number of stations to the network and evaluate their test designs in real time according to several performance metrics. At the end of each stage, Dr. Keiron Bailey, who has led dozens of public participation workshops in transportation, will lead a comparison and discussion of the different teams' Stage 1 designs and strategies. In the second stage, teams will finalize their best network, and we will discuss techniques for developing consensus. Participants will work in pairs using a single computer - please bring a laptop if possible but it is not required for participation.

Adapting the Collablocation Open-Source Software to New Applications
Fangwu Wei, Arizona State University

The initial application of the Collablocation geodesign platform is for locating new CNG truck stops at the regional scale in the Southwest US (https://collablocation.shinyapps.io/geodesign/), but it can be adapted to other fuels, other geographic scales, and other kinds of vehicles. Geodesign software requires the ability to create, store, evaluate, display, and import solutions by multiple groups working simultaneously. In this optional final presentation, software designer Dr. Fangwu Wei will outline the architecture of the software platform, which is built using open-source programming, interface, mapping, and cloud database tools. The presentation will also cover data preparation steps and issues to consider when modifying the tool for new applications. The code will be made available as open-source software prior to TRB. Originally developed for land-use planning, most geodesign software is designed for assigning land uses to polygons. As far as we know, the Collablocation tool is the first available geodesign software for point facilities such as fuel stations. Potentially, this platform could be extended not only to other kinds of fuel stations, but to other kinds of point facilities that involve multiple stakeholders and a system of multiple locations, such as schools, parks, landfills, rail stations, etc.