Urban Modeling and Simulation :: UMS Basics 18.2

Urban Modeling and Simulation :: UMS Basics 18.2

by Feb 21, 20191 comment



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”.

We start the course with an introduction to the programming language C#, which we use as a scripting language in Grasshopper for Rhino3D. This programming knowledge is necessary to enable you to implement or customize your own urban simulation model later. I briefly show explain the software Grasshopper in the beginning, but you should have some prior knowledge of it from other courses.

The second part of 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.


It is highly 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

Reinhard König


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Reinhard is Junior-Professor for Computational Architecture at the Bauhaus-University Weimar and Principal Scientist at the Center for Energy at the Smart and Resilient Cities competence unit at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Vienna. In addition, he acts as Co-PI in the Big Data Informed Urban Design group at the Future Cities Lab (FCL) at the Singapore ETH Centre. His current research interests are applicability of multi-criteria optimization techniques for planning synthesis, cognitive design computing and correlations of computed measures of spatial configurations with human cognition and usage of space.

Theresa Fink

Theresa Fink

Guest Lecturer

Theresa studied architecture at Graz University of Technology. She spent six months in Liechtenstein and one year in Switzerland doing internships in architectural offices. The main interest of her research are parametric modeling techniques and computational urban design.

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