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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Paul A Waddell
PB AF 565
Seattle Campus

Topics in Urban Affairs

Examines various topics of public importance in urban policy. Integrates the political, managerial, and economic dimensions of these issues.

Class description

INTRODUCTION TO URBAN SIMULATION: This course introduces students to the design, development, and use of operational urban simulation models for the evaluation of land use, transportation, and environmental policies. UrbanSim is a model system developed by the Center for Urban Simulation and Policy Analysis at the University of Washington, and now moving into operational use by the Puget Sound Regional Council in support of regional planning for transportation and growth management. It has also been applied in several metropolitan areas in the U.S., Europe, and other parts of the world, to support planning and policy analysis.

The course will develop theoretical grounding in the analysis of household location choices, business location choices, real estate development and prices, and the evaluation of the effects of alternative land use and transportation policies on urban development, transportation, and environmental impacts. It will also address practical skills in data management for modeling, creation and estimation of models, and the development of indicators and their visualization in GIS and other forms.

Much of the course will focus on the recent development of an operational model for the Puget Sound, and ongoing research to use the model system to analyze projects, such as the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Students will also learn elements of Python programming and PostGIS data management and visualization.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Blake N Cooper
Date: 11/10/2008