The course consists of lectures and exercises of state-of-the-art and emerging simulation methods that can assist urban planners, architects and landscape planners in the design process. The simulations are based on the stocks and flows model and include parameters such as density, transportation, materials, capital, sustainability and visualization. Topics include but are not limited to the teaching of GIS based city modeling, recent urban growth prediction systems, pattern-based modeling in City Engine, building simulation, visualization and the prototyping of large scale city models. This course will start with a case-study introduction, present design pattern recognition and implementation into urban models. The course continues with techniques for energy simulation on an urban scale and introduces methods for the real time visualization of urban scenarios.
Analyzing the example of Altstetten (Zurich) the important tools and methods for the modeling, simulation, visualization and analyses of the large scales urban models will be introduces and trained.

The course is structured into six lectures, including one guest lecture, seven exercises, individual coaching hours every Thursday and independent work. Working in groups is a core part of the didactic concept.

The course is coordinated with “Simulating Urban Design Futures”.

Lecture, Mo 9:00-10:30, HIT H12: Jan Halatsch
Exercises, Mo 10:45-13:00, HIT H12: Jan Halatsch, Yuliya Schlegel, Aiste Plentaite


Certificate of achievement:
Graded examination at the end of semester.
Successful participation in exercise course, workshop week and semester project thesis.

Credit points:
Successful participation will be honored with 6 ECTS and grade.

Course slides, exercises, project templates, literature, and examination questionnaires will be made available upon request.

Exercise 1: Site Analysis, Altstetten. Form groups and chose one of the eight areas in Altstetten

L02 | 07-03-2011

Introduction to pattern-based modeling

Lecture 2

Exercise 2: Definition of the urban guidelines, Altstetten


Mid-term critic I

Student presentation of site analysis and urban guidelines, Altstetten

Exercise 3: City Engine Tutorials


Seminar week (no lecture)

L03 | 28-03-2011

Methods for simulating and visualizing urban areas (Prof. Dr. Daniel Aliaga)

Lecture 3

Exercise 4: Modeling urban scenarios with PurdueSim

L04 | 04-04-2011

Urban models as think tools

Lecture 4

Exercise 5: Pattern-based Modeling. Implementation of urban designs with CityEngine


Mid-term critic II

L05 | 18-04-2011

Methods for the analysis of urban performance

Lecture 5

Exercise 6: Ecotect analysis

L06 | 02-05-2011

Collaborative City Design

Lecture 6

Exercise 7: Preparation for End Presentation


Individual work (no lecture)


Individual work (no lecture)


Test and presentation of student works