Urbansim: Using Simulation to Inform Public Deliberation and Decision-Making
Decisions regarding urban transportation investments such as building a new light rail system or freeway extension, or changes in land use policies such as zoning to encourage compact development and curb low-density urban sprawl, have significant and long-term economic, social, and environmental consequences. Further, land use and transportation decisions interact. Integrated simulation models can help government agencies and citizens make more informed decisions about such issues. We briefly describe the history of urban models, and present a taxonomy of needed refinements to them. We then present a case study of the UrbanSim model system and a significant application of it to the Puget Sound Area in Washington State. We also situate this effort in the digital government research arena, in which is presents a significant research opportunity: hard technical problems, unmet demand from government users, and important issues around supporting a more democratic planning process.
KeywordsSalt Lake City Sensitive Design Residential Location Choice Urban Growth Boundary Metropolitan Governance
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