The influence of simulation software on public management

Graduation research project at Tygron

As a student of New Media and Digital Culture at Utrecht University, I was keen on applying the theoretical knowledge gained during my studies onto a real-world phenomenon. My academic interests in data, serious-gaming and smart cities were something that I wanted to devote my full attention to when working on my graduation project. I was therefore really excited to be able to do my research internship at Tygron, where I could investigate how simulation software influences modern city-planning and public management.

With the Omgevingswet approaching, there has been a plethora of technical innovations developed in the hope of aiding urban planning and making it easier for the citizens to adhere to the new laws. The benefits that such innovations bring are often very promising, yet there has been little critical reflection on the implications of such tools. In that context, it was especially interesting for me to analyze a tool such as the Tygron Platform. The research questions guiding my research were the following:

  • How do different user layers engage with the software?
  • What does the tool communicate to the users with various levels expertise and data literacy?
  • What consequences, understood as challenges and advantages, does simulation software have on for the broader social practice, public management and urban planning?

In order to answer these questions, during my internship I conducted a series of expert interviews with the users of the Tygron Platform. My research methods, theoretical framework and the research results are discussed in depth in my master thesis which can be accessed here:

http://dspace.library.uu.nl/handle/1874/399100