Increasing concerns about sustainable development and the growth of urban areas have brought forth in recent years a renewed enthusiasm and need for the use of quantitative models in the field of transportation and spatial planning.
This project aims to improve urban simulation models and their interaction with transport models. Unified operational models that favour a microscopic approach, such as UrbanSim and ILUTE (Integrated Land Use, Transportation, and Environment Modelling System) have recently gained a lot of interest both in the land use and transport communities. Nevertheless, in their current forms these models still require further development to support a comprehensive analysis of the main environmental and socio-economic questions of the sustainability of urban growth and the relevant public policies.
The goal of this project is to address the modelling and computational issues of integrating modern mobility simulations with the latest micro-simulation land use models. The project intends to advance the state-of-the-art in the field of the micro-simulation of prospective integrated models of Land-Use and Transport (LUTI). On the modelling side, the main challenges are to integrate a demographic evolution module, to add an environmental module, to improve the overall consistency and, last but not least, to deal with the multi-scale aspects of the problem: several time horizons and spatial resolutions are involved.
Models for city planning
An EU project improved models used in urban planning to support sustainability. Existing modelling software was adapted for European situations, and the new models helped to support case studies for three cities, thereby improving planning.
Growing concerns about the sustainable development of urban areas has resulted in use of mathematical modelling for planning purposes. Although widely used for managing transportation and development, the models still have room for improvement.
Developing such models was the goal of the EU-funded http://www.sustaincity.org (SUSTAINCITY) (Micro-simulation for the prospective of sustainable cities in Europe) project. The intention was to support analysis of major sustainability questions affecting urban growth. Specifically, work addressed computational issues affecting the integration of mobility simulations with current land-use models. Challenges included integrating a demographic evolution module into land-use and transport models, adding an environmental module and improving consistency. The 12-member consortium also planned 3 case studies utilising the project results. The project ran between January 2010 and June 2013.
Team members developed a modelling platform based on existing software, UrbanSim, and adapted to the context of European cities. The review identified social and economic characteristics of European cities for use as model parameters. Work also yielded new modelling approaches.
Initial priorities consisted of data collection and general calibration. The next two-year period involved refining the estimates, model calibration and scenario simulations.
Subsequent work consisted of using the model outputs as the basis for three case studies. Each involved three steps: data collection and analysis, model calibration and scenario simulations. The case studies were used to simulate various policy scenarios. Models for Brussels and Zurich turned out less operational and user friendly than the Paris version. Nevertheless, all models used the scenarios to inform the urban planning process.
The SUSTAINCITY project adapted an existing modelling platform to European use, and produced planning models for three European cities. Outcomes and case studies provide an effective tool for policy evaluation.