UrbanSim (Parcel-Based Land Use Model)

Last Updated: 
Jan 15, 2016

PSRC uses the UrbanSim model to develop projections of future population and employment for cities, counties, and other geographies. Planners can also use UrbanSim to create scenarios of what might happen if land use plans or highway projects are changed.

What Does UrbanSim Do?

  • Produces a growth projection for each year (currently out to 2040)

  • Predicts land development at the parcel level

  • Interacts with PSRC’s travel models so the impacts of land use on transportation, and vice-versa, can be modeled

  • Simulates the location decisions for each household and job in the region (known as micro-simulation)

  • Uses results from the Regional Macroeconomic Forecast as its control totals and predicts where in the region growth will likely go

  • Takes as an input how many housing units or square feet of building space can be built under existing comprehensive plans, including adjustments for environmentally-sensitive areas

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About UrbanSim and Modeling at PSRC