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Laura Adler surveys the world of data-driven simulations in the field of planning. Simulations have been a part of planning practice for decades, as Adler notes, but recent improvements in data collection and computing power empower planners in new and constantly evolving ways.
Adler surveys the latest in technology, grouping the state of the art in simulation into two groups:
The survey includes more examples of each variety. Also included in the article are simple descriptions of the benefits of simulation, including the ability to anticipate and mitigate unintended consequences and to bridge gaps of representation in the planning process.