From Simulation to Implementation: Practical Advice for Policy Makers Who Want to Use Computer Modeling as an Analysis and Communication Tool

  • Javier Sandoval FélixEmail author
  • Manuel Castañón-Puga
Part of the Studies in Systems, Decision and Control book series (SSDC, volume 209)


The public policy design process is an exercise that has become increasingly complex, involved in great uncertainty that can fall into improvisation and ignoring long-term effects. Thus, the possibility of decision makers to experiment and discover through computer models the possible results of public policies before they are implemented would be a helpful tool to have, generating useful anticipatory knowledge and non-reactive strategies. Nevertheless, institutional planning exercises that make use of these models are practically absent despite the existing tools to elaborate them, given that until now it has been almost an activity restricted to the scientific community due in part by the lack of introductory literature focused to the non-specialized public servant. In light of this situation, this chapter shows basic computational modeling concepts and advice aimed at policymakers presented from an urban planning perspective. It starts by showing a fundamental weakness of current policy design: ignoring the relationships and interactions between the components of an urban context. Next, the complexity approach is presented as a way to address this absence, along with the methods and tools that it uses, and the application of this approach on public policies and cities through computational modeling. Finally, a series of considerations and recommendations are presented regarding computational model-building. Based on recent model communication protocols of the scientific community, the chapter concludes with a model presentation guide aimed at a non-specialized audience, as it may be a necessary step as a part of the policy implementation process.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Javier Sandoval Félix
    • 1
    Email author
  • Manuel Castañón-Puga
    • 2
  1. 1.Instituto Municipal de Investigación y Planeación de EnsenadaEnsenadaMexico
  2. 2.Facultad de Ciencias Químicas e Ingeniería, Campus Tijuana, UABCTijuanaMexico

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