Gaming the Sustainable City

Author: 
Dr. William Braham
Co-author(s): 
Dr. Barry Silverman

Urban designers have long recognized the value of using simulators and games to evaluate sustainability initiatives. Energy—in its many forms—drives urban growth and development. It provides an engine for economic activities and underlies many of the choices that urban designers, city managers and citizens make every day: where to live, where to work, how far to drive and how much to buy? With the exception of actions such as driving, the connection between energy and everyday life is neither direct nor especially visible. 

 

In this project, Bill Braham and Barry Silverman develop a prototype for a community game generator that lets users rapidly model their community in terms of energy balances, affordability of options and residents’ values. The goal is modeling basic interactions between energy supplies (renewable and non-renewable) and typical activities in a city, using an agent-based model simulation (ABMS) to capture the social and economic choices made by different players.