Visualizing Change

Simulation as a decision making tool

Authored by: Peter Bosselmann

Companion to Urban Design

Print publication date:  January  2011
Online publication date:  March  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415553643
eBook ISBN: 9780203844434
Adobe ISBN: 9781136920097


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Urban designers reason with change. Thus an anthology on urban design includes reflections on how professionals use representations to make a selection from the richness and complexity of cities to simulate proposed changes. Like in many other professions, they use simulations to show the eventual effects of alternative conditions and courses of action. Throughout history and across disciplines, simulations have been used to forecast conditions that might become reality; that is, if present assumptions about the future continue to hold true. The applications of simulations are broad and have grown in engineering, design and planning as well as navigational training, medicine and education. Fundamentally, two types of simulations are possible: existing and future urban conditions can be explained as concepts or as experiences (McKechnie 1977). Conceptual simulations convey abstract forms of information. Perceptual simulations convey an experience (see Figure 19.1). Figure 19.1 <a href="#"></a>Conceptional Representation of City Form, Venice Biennale. Source: Peter Bosselmann. Note: From the 2006 Venice Biennale, comparing the densities of the world’s largest cities.

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