solution-oriented collaborative computational planning for smoother decision-making


Pragmetrics designs tailored interactive applications aiming at solving all types of urban and spatial issues. Rather than a standardized product, we propose a complete participatory planning process boosted by innovative technologies.

It is 2020, we shouldn’t have to print a map and scribble and while discussing and redoing all the calculations manually.

Decision-making processes in spatial planning deserve an upgrade: it needs to become truly collaborative and dynamic

Pushed by algorithm programming in computer science, we propose the design and implementation of decision-support platforms in all fields of spatial planning: urban planning, regional development, transportation planning and environmental protection.

Our approach aims at merging expertise and decision, through interactive platforms capable of recreating the complexity of human systems and helping users to assess the impacts of their decisions using multi-criteria performance indicators. 

A typical example of an interactive platform designed for the purpose of sustainable urban land use planning:

The interactive platform operates as a loop between input and indicators: based on information entered into the UI by the user, the platform instantly updates a series of indicators, which allows modifications to be made on the fly until an optimum of indicators is found.

Drawbacks of traditional spatial planning Solutions proposed by the pragmetrics approach
Slow and heavy decision-making process

Thick reports and illegible maps, long and numerous meetings, the time necessary for the consultants to make modifications to their expertise after receiving the comments and a posteriori consultation of the experts - all of this makes the planning process long, tedious and expensive.

Interactive process for real-time decisions

The different impacts of a decision are evaluated dynamically in real-time, allowing adjustments to be made on the fly. Expertise is programmed in the model in advance through hidden algorithms, making the planning process faster and less expensive.

Top-down and closed process

The participation of different stakeholders occurs only in the late stages and concerns minor aspects of the project. Current tools do not allow dialogue between experts and non-experts stakeholders.

Finally, a truly participative planning

By using the same planning platform, users from various backgrounds, both specialists and laymen, can assess the effects of their collectively discussed decisions.

Subjective decisions and opaque expertise

Most decisions are made based on subjective opinions and vague assumptions supported by the black box of expertise.

Objective decisions and transparent expertise

The models include collectively agreed algorithms and display quantitative, multi-criteria indicators for transparent decisions.

Routine planning and recycled proposals

Consultants often apply ready-made planning methods and propose copy-pasted solutions regardless of the specific context.

Original models and customized proposals

Based on a deep understanding of the local context, a customized model tailored to the specific needs of the client is created to find viable solutions.

Limitation to simple and targeted problems

There is evidence that the human brain can only process a few variables simultaneously. By relying solely on human analysis, only the simplest problems can be addressed.

Modeling the complexity of human systems

Computer science now makes it possible to process an infinite number of variables simultaneously, recreate complex systems and help find a balance between conflicting goals.

The pragmetrics approach thus reverses planning paradigms and methods. The interactivity of the model is enabled using an interactive tabletop projector designed especially for use in small teams or workshops.