Games for Simulating Urban Development Process

by Harvey O. Haack, (M.ASCE), Chief Planning Engineer; The Chicago Area Transportation Study, Chicago, IL,
George L. Peterson, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Professor; Dept. of Civil Engineering, Northwest University, Evanston, IL,

Serial Information: Journal of the Urban Planning and Development Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 2, Pg. 149-163

Document Type: Journal Paper


Planners have recently shown interest in urban games as tools for evaluating alternative land use and development strategies. Urban development, characterized by conflicting interests seeking social, political and financial gain, can be simulated with a game. Players assume roles as public officials, administrators, developers and citizens. They act out public and private decisions, developing land, improving public works, and holding elections. Educators have developed several games as teaching devices. They use them in university programs, short courses, and seminars. Evidence indicates the action of the game enhances learning. Even those untrained in analytical methods quickly grasp planning principles. Because of the apparent educational efficiency of games, prospects linking them with models used to simulate urban development, emerge. Having citizens play urban games would enable planners to gage public sentiment; also through greater understanding, citizens might gain more confidence in the planning process

Subject Headings: Game theory | Land use | Infrastructure | Dispute resolution | Social factors | Financial management | Public participation | Public private partnership

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