Efficiency of using urban simulation in teaching urban planning

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The city as an object of urban planning is a very complex and multi-component socio-spatial system. Taking into account full spectrum of elements composing an urban system implies such level of complexity and detailing which will never be achieved in practice. As a result, designers and urban planners are often forced to work with a simplified model of the city. All kinds of tools based on GIS and mathematical methods are gaining increasing popularity among foreign researchers in the field of urban planning. For example, a professor at University College London (University College London) M Bhatti in his book «Cities and Complexity» describes the various simulations based on such instruments as cellular automata and agent-based modeling, which provide the process of decision making in an interactive mode, i.e., observing an instant reaction of the virtual community on one or another project (Devisch, 2008). However, that it seems to be an incredibly complex and "scientific" approach to planning in academic and professional environment, it is successfully used in entertaining industry for twenty-five years. SimCity (SimCity) - a computer game released in 1989 and marked the beginning of the genre of urban simulation. In SimCity player usually has no particular purpose, achievement of which the game ends. The player controls the city, serving as mayor. In players hands such tools as the construction of roads and communications, construction of the main public buildings (administration, schools, hospitals, etc.), as well as zoning tool. Zoning of the city - in the game is available three types of zones: residential, industrial and commercial - allows "mayor" to manage the development and construction of the city. Latest released version of the game based on the revolutionary mechanism simulation Glassbox, greatly enhanced the realism of virtual cities and the processes occurring in them. Since first version of the SimCity was released until now it is one of the most popular computer games and probably the SimCity introduced to the world of urban development more people than any textbook (Starr). But does it have an educational potential?
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Definite Space – Fuzzy Responsibility, Prague, 13-16th July, 2015
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