There has been a rich tradition of geographers, planners and social scientists attempting to build models of city and regional systems. Very few of these attempts have actually resulted in tools that have positively contributed to the planning process. Over the last decade or so there has been much interest in desk top simulation games such as SimCity, where the user can simulate the development of a city he or she has created. In this presentation, we outline how we have begun to develop a ‘SimCity’ for real, albeit not with the kind of user interface or graphics available from companies such as EA Games.
The project – MOSES – Modelling and Simulation for e-Social Science – is part of an ESRC funded initiative that has brought together a number of centres under the umbrella of the National Centre for e-Social Science. We will outline how we have used micro-simulation methods to recreate the population of the UK at the individual and household level using a variety of data sources and how we simulate this population forward over time, replicating demographic and socio-economic processes. We present some results that demonstrate the potential of this approach as well as how we plan to link our research with that of CASA in our next project – GENeSIS.