UrbanSim is a software-based simulation for urban areas, with tools for examining the interplay between land use, transportation, and policy.
UrbanSim is a software-based system designed to be used for integrated planning and analysis of urban development, incorporating the interactions between land use, transportation, and public policy. It is designed to interface to existing travel modeling procedures, including both current four-step as well as newer activity-based travel models. It is currently being extended to address environmental impacts of development by simulating land cover, water demand and nutrient emissions.
The model uses input data including population and employment estimates, regional economic forecasts, transportation system plans, land use plans, and land use policies to consider the complicated interactions between individual households; businesses; developers; and governments. Outputs from UrbanSim include predicted residential and economic distributions, households, land uses by type, square footage of land use types, and prices of land. UrbanSim does not focus on scenario development, as most of these tools do, but rather on understanding the consequences of certain scenarios on urban communities.
UrbanSim is offered by the Center for Urban Simulation and Policy Analysis at the University of Washington for free. Associated costs may include the technology to use UrbanSim if not already owned.