Maxime Colomb
Geographer Engineer
en français in english

UrbanSim and the urban modelling

Urban simulation is a complex operation as it takes a lot of parts from different area. Mainly introduced by Gaston Berger and his research about "prospective" from the last midcentury, it aimed to simulate and test the evolution of a definite and various land according to definite scenarios. In simulating multi-actors according to particular model as spatial laws, economics, demographic, transportation, land use.., the global system can proceed to the asked simulation. This system can be taken as a complex system as it involves a lot of different and independent parameters. The results are not truly quantified, the aim of an analysis is to find out the paths of a general decision and how it will affect other sub systems according to the scenarii. France has always been a pioneer in such a subject and the biggest metropolis as Paris or Lyon have very advanced prospective services. I kept on being focused on this subject and it appeared that one simulation platform were interesting because its interoperability and its potential evolution and its growing use: UrbanSim and the Synthicity tools .

In order to complete my engineer scholarship I undertook a "mini-project" using this tool. A research team of the master I was in had to compare the land use simulation by using two different simulator: LMC, module from the raster-like IDRISI and Dinamica. I tried to apply this study to UrbanSim simulation but it appeared that this tool is very focused on the urban foreground and the data we disposed where inadequate. Although it gave me the opportunity to handle the main concepts of the UrbanSim platform and its global pathways.

The planning of such a study is long and needs a large and accurate amount of data. If you're interested by such a simulation, I advise you to contact me and we can talk about your study.

UrbanSim general scheme

UrbanSim general core actions

Visualization sample Sample of an UrbanSim study. It represents the evolution of the household number on a large range of yea