Equity WITHOUT Zoning




A web-based simulation for the Equity WITHOUT Zoning workshop, presented at City Science Summit 2020.

Behind the scenes

On October 8th, the second day of City Science Summit 2020, we at City Science Lab Shanghai hosted a workshop titled Equity WITHOUT Zoning. The workshop discussed the possibility of applying algorithmic zoning and dynamic incentive policies to our neighborhoods, centered around an online simulation tool we built for the purpose.

The tool simulates the area including and around Kendall square, a neighborhood and innovation hub located near MIT. The team developed two models[1] for the neighborhood. One model is for the people living, commuting, and relocating their homes, based on variables such as house price and distance to work. The other model simulates when, where, and for how much developers decide to build houses, based on the current incentive policies put forward by the local government. We then collect statistics like the average commute distance, the revenue of developers, the diversity of the people, etc.

I developed the web front-end of this simulation, where people can access the simulation parameters, issue commands, and see the results in real time.

Next steps

We’re trying to find the time to improve this project, making it a Nicky Case[2]-like “explorable explaination.”

  1. Dr. Can Wang (http://wangc.net) led the development of the models. ↩︎

  2. https://ncase.me. Their work is awesome. Check them out! ↩︎