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Infografik Urbanica

Urban Infrastructure Development Simulator


AIT has developed a tool to simulate urban expansion triggered by increased urbanisation tendencies and to estimate the related infrastructure costs. The tool allows for simulating different urban development scenarios and analyses their infrastructure costs to assist cities in resource-efficient urban planning. The tool is used in various cities for urban land-use planning, master planning and agglomeration planning.

Project description

The Urban Infrastructure Development Simulator, used to support urban planning decisions, performs urban growth simulation and can estimate related infrastructure costs. AIT developed the tool for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). To enable cities to make their development-related decisions, an agent-based simulation model is used to represent urban growth by predicting the behaviour of current residents and future residents coming from urban regions outside the city. It also estimates the impacts that provided infrastructure and population growth will have on the job creation potentials of different urban areas. The simulation tool is based on input data from different spatial and temporal resolutions. Geographic information systems (GIS) data, remote sensing data, and statistical data are used to simulate scenarios for future development paths. Such tools require great data management flexibility to provide a wide range of possibilities for importing new, more accurate data to calculate new scenarios. URBANICA enables urban planners to easily introduce important city data to the simulation tool via an online sketching feature.

Main conclusions/outcomes/achievements

  • Qualitative growth simulation and trend analysis for urban areas.
  • Tool-derived estimates of infrastructure development costs for different development scenarios.
  • Qualitative support for urban land use-, master-, agglomeration- and transportation planning through simulation and comparison of different scenarios.



Inter-American Development Bank