Urban Planning Simulation

Developing a city is not easy, even in a game. There are several key factors that determine the development of a city that can be seen from SimCity: the population growth, the mass labor factories, agriculture productivity, and low cost transportation (Levy, 2006). These factors cannot be analyzed separately since they influence one another.

Determining land use was the first thing we did in this project. By choosing the radial discontinuous as the form of the city, we shaped the new city by developing roads and then zoning the area into residential, industrial/agricultural, and commercial.

Since people go to a new place to search jobs, we developed factories and farms at the beginning. The industrial area was built in a medium density for this urban area. Then, the residential and commercial areas were built also in a lower density at the other side.  We need these scales of development to reduce infrastructure costs of the young city.

Although the planning came first from the Mayor (the player), the growth of population, employment, and the market forces push the government to listen what the community says. Perhaps, people have no choice on where they live, but they have opportunity to plan to develop the city together with the government. In fact, the fluctuating market forces can have stronger influence on the future planning of the city.

The radial discontinuous may be not an efficient form of the city in term of transportation. People need car and more time to travel from one to another place in the city. As an alternative, gridiron continues of urban morphology is better. This form has shorter and more roads to access. People can walk from their homes to any places in the city because the city grows up (not out) of the urban area.

SimCity simulation in one way supports my notions about how a city developed by using the key factors that influence the development of a city. It is a good way to understand the process of a rural area becomes an urban area.

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