Problem DescriptionFor the past few decades, city professionals have had fairly limited tools to understand the impacts of their interrelated decisions. Using only Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Excel, for example, would involve manually calculating factors to measure impacts from one area to another. In response to that problem, simulation-based and scenario-based tools were created. Scenarios help a user to identify a set of parameters that could happen, playing out to the logical conclusion. Simulations help to visualize scenarios. These both function to identify interconnected issues and present them to a user for a more streamlined decision-making process. These tools fall into a larger category of tools called Decision Support Systems (DSS) or Planning Support Systems (PSS) for the urban/city planning profession.
These tools, some simulation-based, others scenario-based, have been developed to help local and regional governments understand how their decisions in one area (e.g., adequate transportation options) affect other areas (i.e., ability for population to access jobs, environmental impacts, housing density, etc.). Real estate developers have also found these tools helpful for calculating return on investment for various developments under consideration.
Solution StageOne of the 7 stages of an innovation. Learn more
|STAGE||SPECIALIST SKILLS REQUIRED||EXAMPLE ACTIVITIES||RISK LEVEL AND HANDLING||FINANCE REQUIRED||KINDS OF EVIDENCE GENERATED||GOAL|
|Developing and implementing5||Strong leadership, management, implementation skills|
|A robust and detailed case developed through formal evaluation and evidence gathering – use of a control group to isolate impact||An implemented and sustainable innovation|