Module :: Urban Modeling and Simulation :: UMS

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In this course, we introduce you to urban simulation methods. We deal with the modeling of complex spatial systems on the regional and urban level. In this context, computational analysis methods for urban fabric (e.g. for pedestrian movement or economic potentials) and models for computing interactions between land uses are introduced. By means of system dynamics models, we can simulate temporal changes of “stocks and flows”.

The software Grasshopper is briefly explained in the beginning, but you should gain some knowledge of it from other courses.

The course starts with a lecture on model theory that explains the main concepts for urban models. Afterward, I show you some basic dynamic urban models, which are the basis for your own explorations and extensions.

Learning objectives

The objective of this course is to enable you to model and simulate the main dynamic mechanisms in an urban environment to understand and predict the future development of cities. This understanding allows you to steer the urban development by specific planning actions.

At the end of the course, you are able to develop a concept for your own urban simulation, implement it and use it as a basis for your urban planning strategy.

The knowledge provided through online seminars will be deepened in consultations and documented in several exercises.


A requirement for choosing this seminar is the completion of the course Introduction to Scripting with C# or good programming skills. In this seminar, you need some programming skills for working with custom C# components that control your urban simulation model.

In addition, it is recommended that you participate in the course Parametric Urban Design and Analysis, since we require basic knowledge in parametric design and visual programming with Grasshopper for Rhino3D.


Reinhard König (course coordinator – Send Mail) and Theresa Fink


For this course, we use Rhino3D version 6 // Grasshopper. You may download a 90 days evaluation version here.

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