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Welcome to the UrbanSim Project

UrbanSim is a software-based simulation system for supporting planning and analysis of urban development, incorporating the interactions between land use, transportation, the economy, and the environment. It is intended for use by Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), cities, counties, non-governmental organizations, researchers and students interested in exploring the effects of infrastructure and policy choices on community outcomes such as motorized and non-motorized accessibility, housing affordability, greenhouse gas emissions, and the protection of open space and environmentally sensitive habitats. The UrbanSim Overview and a Wikipedia Article summarize its design and features. Detailed descriptions are available in the Documentation and ResearchPapers on this site. If you have questions about this project, contact Paul Waddell.

UrbanSim is supported by Autodesk, Inc. and the UrbanSim user community. A new architecture for UrbanSim has been engineered since 2013 that is designed to make UrbanSim smaller, faster, and more robust, while maximizing the ease of use for non-programmers and programmers alike. UrbanSim has been modularized, and the collection of modules on which it is based are more general and reusable in different combinations to support a variety of applications, including real estate analysis, transportation modeling, and more. The collection of modules on which the current implementation of UrbanSim is based is the Urban Data Science Toolkit.


Aug 7 UrbanSim code repository now lives in the Urban Data Science Toolkit organization on GitHub
Apr 22 Autodesk announces acquisition of Synthicity and release of Urban Canvas at the American Planning Association Conference
Nov 3-4 2014 User Meetings for UrbanSim and UrbanCanvas, at MTC in Oakland, CA


UrbanSim was initially designed by Paul Waddell in the mid-1990's, and implemented as a prototype in Oregon in 1998. It has been continuously refined and re-engineered since then with the cooperation of a Core Development Team, and a growing community of Research Collaborators contributes to the project. Its development has been made possible by generous support from the funders listed below. It is freely available on the Download Page as open source software using the GPL license. We do ask that users register on this website before downloading, so we can maintain some minimal information about the user community. Since its initial release in 1998, UrbanSim has increasingly been adopted for operational planning use in the U.S. and in Europe, Asia, and Africa, in planning agencies and in university research and educational settings. The user community and research collaborators directly and indirectly support the application and refinement of UrbanSim. This interactive web site provides a virtual meeting ground for users and developers of the system, with approximately half from the USA, and half from a rapidly growing list of countries:

Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldovia, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA, Venezuela, Vietnam

If you are interested in using UrbanSim or collaborating on its further development, please register on this web site and join the community. If you have questions regarding UrbanSim or this web site, email Paul Waddell at waddell (at)

State of the System

We use what is known as a Continuous Integration System to test and build the OPUS and UrbanSim software. As developers check in updates to the Subversion repository, this triggers a suite of tests that provide rapid feedback on whether those changes caused any tests to fail. This keeps the system continually in testing mode, and helps keep the code robust as it continues to evolve. To see what the state of the system is, follow the link below. Green lights mean that all the tests have passed for the package. A red light means one or more tests have failed. Note that there is a new implementation of UrbanSim being hosted on GitHub. Contact the UrbanSim team at Autodesk for requests for assistance in developing an UrbanSim application for your region.

For users wanting archival access to the previous implementation of UrbanSim, it is still available here:

Current Financial Support

We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the following organizations, which currently support the ongoing development of UrbanSim:

U.S. Federal Support National Science Foundation (Award abstracts)
  Federal Highway Administration
  University of California Transportation Center
U.S. Planning Agencies Durham - Chapel Hill - Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization
  Lane Council of Governments
  Maricopa Association of Governments
  Metropolitan Transportation Commission
  Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization
  Puget Sound Regional Council
  Southeast Michigan Council of Governments
International Support European Research Council
  Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements

In addition to these current funders, we wish to acknowledge numerous Previous Funders that have supported the UrbanSim project.

Topic revision: r97 - 08 Aug 2015 - 18:37:38 - PaulWaddell
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