Integrated Urban Models (IUMs)

IUMs are complicated computer programs that act as a virtual laboratory to simulate the processes influencing the changes in urban land use activities and travel patterns over time.

Real world to Computer Simulation

Simulated processes are driven by certain triggers that cause changes over time and urban space, as illustrated in the following diagram:

Processes of Change

As the figure above shows, land use processes influence travel behavior and vice versa. An IUM should capture the two-way relationship (i.e., feedback loops) between land use and transportation. SMARTPLANS is designed to handle the feedback loops between land use and transportation.

IUMs are Planning Support Systems (PSSs) for testing “What if” Scenarios. Examples of such scenarios may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Building a new highway in the metropolitan area
  • Intensifying residential and/or commercial development in certain parts of the urban area
  • Improve transit service along certain corridors
  • Increase the level of electric vehicle adoption by certain population groups across the metropolitan area
  • Introduce a road pricing scheme for certain regions within the metropolitan area