Integrating agent-based modeling, serious gaming, and co-design for planning transport infrastructure and public spaces

Liu Yang, Lufeng Zhang, Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, Emile J.L. Chappin, Koen H. van Dam

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Car-oriented transport infrastructure developments have had detrimental impacts on the public realm in terms of poor walkability and fractured leftover urban spaces. To build integrated transport infrastructure and public space systems with considering non-motorized travelers’ behavior, we present an integrated methodology incorporating an agent-based simulation model, serious games, and co-design which provides opportunities to involve citizens into the urban design process. In this paper, we show this process for a case study in London Hackney Wick. Qualitative data collected from collaborative experiments, cognitive and human needs mapping, interviews and conversations offer insights into people’s engagement with their environment and the public expectations. In parallel, an Agent-Based Model (ABM) informed by the gathered data is used to visualize local activities for the residents and to predict travel demand and spaces occupancy patterns of various designs. The prediction results indicate that a holistic design strategy is needed for planning attractive and pedestrian-friendly transport-public space systems. Lessons learned also lead to a proposal to improve the model with more realistic human behavior and activity schedules. The coupling of ABM–Game–Design is a valuable tool for engaging the audience and providing both qualitative and quantitative supports to decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
JournalUrban Design International
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Agent-based modeling
  • Co-design
  • Public space
  • Serious games
  • Transport infrastructure planning

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