skip to content
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Search in posts
Search in pages

Go Home

UK Government Uses System Dynamics to Forecast Employment Impact

Nov 5, 2020 | Cases, Environmental, Pre-College Education, Transportation, Urban Planning

The Urban Dynamic Model (UDM) is a simulation of how transport interacts with population, employment and land-use over long periods of time, typically ten years or more. It was developed to help understand how transport could contribute to economic regeneration by improving the ability of employers to recruit a workforce and their access to customers and suppliers, and by improving access to employment opportunities.
For example, the vicious circle of congestion is familiar to us all but is almost impossible to capture in traditional models. In short, the cycle includes improved transport which reduces travel time, making businesses easier to access for customers, generating increased employment, leading to more transport activity and increased congestion.

The UDM was developed over a number of years, beginning with a fairly simple model built in 2000. This was used in one of a series of large scale transport studies commissioned by the government at the time. Its role at that time was to test the regeneration claims being made for a proposed by-pass that would have passed through an area of outstanding natural beauty. Models of this type must be able to represent the spatial characteristics of the study area, usually using a zone structure, and the road and public transport links connecting the zones together. Other applications followed, and then in 2005 we were commissioned by the Department for transport to carry out a study into the impact of transport on business location decisions. Current guidance from the Department for Transport emphasises the wider role of transport in supporting the economy, but also points to the need for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

The UDM is generic, and has been applied widely in the UK with local authorities. Conclusions vary from one application to another, but some of the findings we have reported include measures to generate employment can appear to have a significant effect if examined very locally, but we often find that some employment is transferred from elsewhere, and the net effect can be less than might first appear, city centres remain the best locations for many types of employer because they provide the best access to a workforce and bring ‘agglomeration’ benefits that employers enjoy by being clustered together. Studies of major programmes of transport investment typically involve expenditure of tens or hundreds of millions of pounds. The measured benefits are usually expressed in money, and expressing both the social and economic impacts of investment and can also run to hundreds of millions of pounds.

Client UK local authorities
Authors/Consultants Swanson J (Sdgworld; Steer Davies Gleave)

Do you want to know more?

More Information

For more information on this case, please contact John Swanson at Sdgworld, or see this link.

OTHER SUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS

A Design Value Calculator: A System Dynamics Boardgame

A Design Value Calculator: A System Dynamics Boardgame EXECUTIVE Summary Product design is a specific form of complex innovation that touches all areas of an organization’s management. While entrepreneurs recognise the value of design, they often tend to focus...

Upcoming Events

Recent Posts

Society Governance Updates

Society Governance Updates Welcome, Allyson! New President Allyson Beall King joined the Policy Council as our 2024 President. Her primary role is as director of the Washington State University School of the Environment, which focuses on regional ecologies and our...

Call for Presenters: Seminar Series

Call for Presenters: Seminar Series We at the System Dynamics Society are continually seeking vibrant and knowledgeable presenters for our ongoing Seminar Series. As we unfold the calendar, there’s always a place for more insights, experiences, and expertise to enrich...

Join us

OTHER SUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS

A Design Value Calculator: A System Dynamics Boardgame

A Design Value Calculator: A System Dynamics Boardgame EXECUTIVE Summary Product design is a specific form of complex innovation that touches all areas of an organization’s management. While entrepreneurs recognise the value of design, they often tend to focus...

Recent Posts

Society Governance Updates

Society Governance Updates Welcome, Allyson! New President Allyson Beall King joined the Policy Council as our 2024 President. Her primary role is as director of the Washington State University School of the Environment, which focuses on regional ecologies and our...

Call for Presenters: Seminar Series

Call for Presenters: Seminar Series We at the System Dynamics Society are continually seeking vibrant and knowledgeable presenters for our ongoing Seminar Series. As we unfold the calendar, there’s always a place for more insights, experiences, and expertise to enrich...

Upcoming Events