The crisis of modelling

Dear [colleague]

Are you familiar with the attached. I think there’s a connection with the article on modelling that you sent me. I believe we can present Space Syntax as addressing the “crisis of modelling”, in which:

–    traditional modelling makes dire predictions about the impact on vehicles of public realm-/public transport-oriented projects are unfounded

–    traditional modelling is cumbersome, time-consuming and expensive

–    traditional modelling seems overly focused on narrow issues such as gross vehicle movement and less aware of “real” issues such as community severance and economic performance.

And, as a consequence:

–    many people are doubting the benefits of an analytic approach.

The risks are:

–    that the development industry will move away from modelling towards less analytic but more community-friendly techniques and, in doing so, the power of evidence-informed approaches will be lost. Authorities will begin to doubt analysis.

 –    that modelling will focus on its “touchy-feely” interface at the expense of a solid grounding in analysis – we can already see this in the popularity of “virtual reality” models (such as VISSIM, Paramics).

Modelling needs to be:

–    more user-friendly

–    quicker and cheaper

–    more relevant to pressing socio-economic issues.

Space Syntax has been developed for precisely these reasons. It is light but powerful. It deals directly with the social and economic issues that challenge policy makers and property developers.

I’ll stop now as I’ve started to blog. Here comes my next article…

Happy to hear your thoughts.

Tim

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