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RE: 'elephant in the bedroom' computer game?'utsg@jiscmail.ac.uk

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  • Carlos F. Pardo SUTP
    Will Wright developed SimCity, the Sims, SimAnt, SimEarth and is right now developing a game called Spore (“SimEverything”). Though he’s more into
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 28, 2006

      Will Wright developed SimCity, the Sims, SimAnt, SimEarth and is right now developing a game called Spore (“SimEverything”). Though he’s more into evolution and Gaia-type theories, he may be interested in the topic of transport for a cause…


      Best regards,


      Carlos F. Pardo
      Coordinador de Proyecto
      GTZ - Proyecto de Transporte Sostenible (SUTP, SUTP-LAC)
      Cl 125bis # 41-28 of 404
      Bogotá D.C., Colombia
      Tel:  +57 (1) 215 7812

      Fax: +57 (1) 236 2309 
      Mobile: +57 (3) 15 296 0662
      e-mail: carlos.pardo@...
      Página: www.sutp.org


      De: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com] En nombre de Eric Britton
      Enviado el: Lunes, 25 de Septiembre de 2006 03:44 p.m.
      Para: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com; NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
      Asunto: [NewMobilityCafe] 'elephant in the bedroom' computer game?'utsg@...


      Is this true or not? The ‘elephant in the bedroom’ thesis of cars and cities?


      A key tenet of the New Mobility Agenda and the core of all that concerns us here is that there is a rather simple but ineluctable geometric conflict between cars and cities. Namely that most cities can accommodate a certain quantum of private cars in traffic and within their existing urban form and infrastructure up to a certain point – beyond which something has to give.


      Either (a) you adapt the city to the exigencies of an expanding population of cars – by adding capacity, expanding infrastructure, increasing vehicle speeds and throughput, etc.  (the ‘old mobility’ approach to transport in cities.) Or alternatively you search for  ways to advance and adapt the mobility system to keep within the dimensions and social and economic dynamics of the historic city.  The sine quo non in both cases is that the mobility arrangements whatever they are not undermine the local economy and the overall sustainability of the city (otherwise after a bit you will have no city left, or at least one with a very different economic and life quality profile).


      Against this background, my question today is to ask your counsel in the following?

      1.      Do you know of the existence of a game which demonstrate visually the ‘carrying capacity’ of a city for car-based transport – and can also help us to understand what happens when you reach some kind of critical threshold and decision point?

      2.      It might be a board game -- or probably far better something along the lines of Sim City which can handle the variables that need to be factored in and inspected in terms of their cumulative results.

      3.      The ideal game to my mind  would be a somewhat interactive game that would permit the player to set a certain number of parameters which reflect the situation in their city, and then so start to play with the numbers.  And when we reach a decision point and decide, as has all too often happened in the past, to increase capacity, speeds etc. for the car component, it would be good to see the results of the ‘space take’; of this policy.

      4.      And while I dream, I would also like to have some kind of ballpark estimates of performance under these various views of the city: fuel requirements, CO2 production, even accidents, something about under- or un-served groups, and a few other things. Should not be impossible, don’t you think?


      And if such a game does not exist, might you be interested


      a.       To participate in a project which would have as its objective first to research and define that main guidelines and parameters of such a game?

      b.      And to look for some agency or other to help finance such an effort?


      It would be lovely if you would be able to share with us information on such a game and how we all can access and use it. And failing that to have your comments and ideas for this proposal (which I have to think is not original, so if we can link to something already underway along these lines, that would be just splendid.


      I leave you with a link to a loving shot of a well working old mobility system.


      Eric Britton



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