The NC Moves 2050 Plan explores four different scenarios to help picture North Carolina’s transportation future:
- Innovative: A future where technology in transportation drives new development patterns and economic growth, resulting in a low-carbon, low-cost, shared and more accessible multimodal system.
- Globally Connected: A future where economic growth in manufacturing, technology, automation and services positions North Carolina as a leading market for a skilled workforce, connected to the world by international gateways and an efficient freight system.
- Renewed: A future where small towns and rural communities grow and are more connected to each other and urban centers by various forms of transportation.
- Unstable: A future where funding instability, political and social events, environmental threats and energy uncertainty stall tourism and stagnate the economy. This creates a transportation system where travel costs are high and mobility is more unreliable.
These scenarios help us understand what could happen, not predict what will happen.
Scenario planning helps develop different views of the future based on “what ifs.” This helps the N.C. Department of Transportation better understand how to prepare long-range transportation plans that consider how people and goods will travel.
These scenarios will inform transportation needs and strategies, which are important to NCDOT and its partners, and will keep options open for future decision makers as they pursue creative solutions to transportation needs.
The development of these scenarios for alternative futures are based on three primary sources:
- National research and studies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Beyond Traffic 2045 report and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program 750 Foresight
- North Carolina specific research, interviews and topical papers associated with economics, technology, demographics, development, resiliency/climate, funding, security, tourism and partnerships
- Input from North Carolina residents, stakeholders, partners, subject matter experts and NCDOT staff.
NCDOT is using feedback on these futures to advance the NC Moves 2050 Plan and prioritize innovative strategies.