Transport Education Applications
Internet-based applications are excellent tools for teaching people about complicated subjects like planning. This page describes example educational applications for transport and provides references for more information. Examples include:
Types of Transport Education Applications
Games are an excellent way of teaching people about transport. And games can also help increase engagement. Especially important to remember is the huge amount of time people spend playing games on mobile phones or the Internet – it’s a great audience to reach. We’ve identified the following types of transport games:
- Information games – teach basic information;
- Simulator games – players operate a vehicle;
- City planning games – like SimCity;
- Scenario games – players interact online to modelled situations;
- Educational games – teach more complex topics;
- Engagement games – designed to encourage you to get involved;
- Network planning games – plan a transport network.
Interactive Design Applications for Transport
Interactive design applications are online tools that enable people to test ideas and learn about tradeoffs inherent in planning decisions. Internet applications are excellent tools because they are highly visual and fast. Example interactive design applications are:
StreetMix is an application that allows you to visualise street cross sections. You start by entering the width of the right of way and then can mix-and-match different street components like sidewalks, bike lanes, roadway lanes and public transport lanes. It’s a great educational tool. I developed the illustration at the right of Vienna’s Ringstrasse for the Ringstrasse 150 project.
TransitMix is a fantastic tool that lets you plan and analyse bus routes you design. You can sketch routes, set service windows, and see live cost calculations. It’s linked with OpenSource public transport data so you can import routes via GTFS, edit visually, and export to GTFS.
UPDATE January 2016 – Transit Mix was significantly improved to make it more useful for professional transit planners. Unfortunately, the new product called ReMix is not available for free.
Online Educational References
Online educational references are websites and wikis that present information about transport in an accessible format. They link to good examples and resources (e.g., videos). Several examples are provided below.
Improve Public Transport Wiki
The BusMeister project combined education with a Facebook-based collaboration site. The educational elements were a wiki on strategies for improving public transport and the BusMeister game designed as a fun way to learn about public transport operations.
The Improve Public Transport wiki provides technical information about public transport to city residents so that they can think of better ideas for improvements. The wiki includes links to many excellent educational resources (e.g., StreetFilms).
The goal was to create a continuously updated “state-of-the-art” resource on strategies for improving public transport. The wiki is still online but never achieved sufficient participation to make it a lively forum for new information.
GreaterPlaces.com is a platform designed to showcase the best in community design: placemaking, planning, policies and public participation. It is designed to connect people looking for ideas with civic innovators around the globe. It’s an excellent source of online information about planning.
The website has information about mobility projects and the group also produces “playing card” formatted information about the planning process and specific fields including mobility, urban design, parks, etc.
GreaterPlaces.com was one of Planetizen’s Top 10 Websites of 2015.
References: Transport Education Applications
- ReMix: New Software Makes Transit Planning More Like Video Gaming, Governing, 2016.
- Landman, Evan; Transitmix continues its development; Human Transit Blog.
Blog Posts: Transport Education Applications
ProPublica has developed a very effective interactive application that shows the chance of being killed if you are a pedestrian (30-years old, average for all ages, and 70-years old). You can roll on the app’s X-axis to see the likelihood of being killed when hit by a car going at different speeds. It’s a good tool […]
An article in the EU’s online research magazine Horizon, by Fintan Burke titled: How a new generation of games is changing minds (4 April 2016) describes reflective games. It begins: In the last 30 years gaming has grown from a niche hobby to the world’s most profitable form of entertainment. Now, researchers are investigating how they […]
MIT’s Mobility Futures Collaborative and Media Lab’s Changing Places have been developing tools to enable more meaningful citizen engagement in the transportation planning process. The project is supported by the Barr Foundation and makes use of open data. Like this website, the project is designed to help address the difficulties people have in understanding transport […]
Richard Moss has written an excellent history of city planning (building) games in Ars Technica. It’s great to see how city planning games have evolved and some of the ideas developers have implemented over the years. Lots of lessons for taking city games further. Full article: “From SimCity to, Well, SimCity: The History of […]