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A Shining City on a Spreadsheet

“It’s a mansion with 50 rooms, and each one relates to all the others,” says Charles Komanoff, referring to his Balanced Transportation Analyzer, a spreadsheet that models in intricate detail the daily flow of all transit–public, private, wheeled and bipedal–in New York City. Komanoff says his model can show the way to policies that would rid New York of gridlock, if only the city had the political will to implement them (you can download a version of the .xls file here).?Wired has the story. Meanwhile, a new book recounts the consequences of overreliance on computer models in city planning: Joe Flood‘s The Fires explores the connection between a computer model that promised to revolutionize the New York Fire Department in the 1960s and 70s, and a subsequent series of devastating fires.[%comments]