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Tuesday, September 15th
7:20 PM

Planning regional multi-sector water resource systems in East England

Evgenii Matrosov, University of Manchester, United Kingdom

7:20 PM - 7:40 PM

Increasing water scarcity and uncertainty in future conditions can lead to growing competition between different water consuming sectors. In response, decision makers are increasingly employing Decision Making Under Uncertainty (DMU) methods which combine simulation models with search algorithms to identify robust portfolios of supply, demand management and policy interventions and quantify their efficient performance trade-offs. In this study we describe a multi-year regional multi-sector participatory planning effort considering the public water supply, environment, agriculture and energy sectors undertaken in the East of England, one of the driest parts of the UK. A large regional infrastructure and environmental system simulator was built and connected to many-objective heuristic search to optimize six aggregated regional planning objectives representing multi-sector priorities under several climate, demand and hydrological scenarios. The simulation model tracked approximately 1000 performance metrics representing local sub-regional performance in each sector. The Pareto-approximate portfolios of interventions and their implied trade-offs were interrogated by stakeholders using web-based interactive trade-off analysis. Using minimum performance thresholds on optimization objectives and tracked metrics to filter portfolio performance stakeholders identified a balanced and efficient portfolio that met each sector’s needs. The selected portfolio was found to use a moderate level of storage and transfer capacity. Tracked metrics revealed local trade-offs between agricultural supply, deviations from required environmental flows, and public water supply and helped with portfolio selection. Further analysis using stakeholder performance thresholds revealed two alternative infrastructure development visions for the region, using new storage dams and water transfers to differing extents.

7:40 PM

An innovative integrated modelling tool to assess and design territorial crop-livestock systems

Rui Catarino, INRAE, France

7:40 PM - 8:00 PM

Fostering local exchanges between specialized arable and livestock farms can simultaneously help to develop crop diversification and re-localization of livestock feed production, two major sustainability challenges of industrial agriculture. However, the aggregated benefits and drawbacks of developing a “Territorial Crop-Livestock System” (TCLS) based on exchanges is yet to be stablished. A major lock-in is the lack of decision support systems to analyse the underpinning dynamics and associated uncertainties of necessary socio-technical changes and to design necessary organizational aspects within and among farms. This paper presents an innovative high-resolution multi-agent and dynamic spatial modelling framework of agricultural landscape, MAELIA, developed to overcome these issues. MAELIA supports interactive integrated assessment and design of TCLS scenarios to analyse the trade-offs and synergies between individual and collective objectives and performances. We applied MAELIA to support a group of five arable and two livestock farmers in the West France in the design and assessment of credible, salient and legitimate exchanges. With MAELIA, we explore three selected scenarios, co-designed with farmers, advisors and scientists that converges the production capacities from arable farmers to the needs of livestock farmers. With a set of 13 sustainability and resilience indicators, we identify sources of variabilities of exchange flows (uncertainties) and possible solutions to manage them. Simulations outcomes provide further evidences that a local self-sufficiency in animal-feed and resilience against economic and climate shocks can be achieved. Both our results and methodology can be used to support policy makers, as future policies and strategies need to be defined at the relevant levels at which impacts (e.g. biodiversity and economic return) and decisions occur, i.e. at the local level.

8:00 PM

Dealing with uncertainty in urban flood management using participatory modelling

Stefania Santoro, IRSA-CNR (Italy), Polytechnic University of Bari

8:00 PM - 8:20 PM

Evidence shows that cities are complex and unstable systems. In order to be reliable, flood risk models need to account for the unpredictability of the urban system changes e.g. land-use changes, socio-economic dynamics, citizen behaviours due to their risk perception. Over the last century approaches in flood risk modelling, relied on deterministic approaches, have focused exclusively on the phenomena, resulting in a distribution of results around some "best assumptions". Despite some evidences show the importance to consider the unpredictability of social system characteristics such as citizen risk perceptions and their behaviours, in flood risk modelling has instead been almost neglected. Understanding the unpredictability of social systems as another dimension of conceptualisation of uncertainty can indeed lead to a better flood risk management. The risk perception affects citizens’ decisions and could lead to failures in flood risk management process, if no balanced with traditional flood models outputs. In this work we argue that incorporating uncertainty into flood risk modelling can support decision makers to manage the extreme event in the urban context. To this aim, a multi-step methodology has been developed and implemented in a case study located in the South-Eastern part of Italy, i.e. Brindisi municipality. The first step consists in collecting and structuring citizen perceptions about the flood risk through a participative process. For this purpose, semi-structured interviews and Fuzzy Cognitive Maps were developed. Secondly, the degree of uncertainty regarding the unpredictability of social system have been detected and analysed. The work concludes that this integrated approach could be used in of exploratory modelling (e.g. Exploratory System Dynamics modelling) in flood management, in order to consider the unpredictability of system characteristics and consequently support decision-makers under uncertainty.

Wednesday, September 16th
4:40 PM

Dynamic Modelling as A Support Tool for Forestall Uncertainty in Complex Urban Systems: Edmonton and Metro Vancouver Case Study

Sinisa Vukicevic, Metro Vancouver, Canada

4:40 PM - 5:00 PM

Planning, in essence, is dealing with uncertainty. Planners forecast future population, employment, dwelling units, and land uses for the following 20, 50, or even 100 years ahead. The further we go into the future; the higher the uncertainty. To deal with uncertainty, planners produce scenarios. Scenarios, in the context of planning, are development options that could be based on different assumptions for future growth. More scenarios means testing out a larger suit of options and their implications on a set of relevant criteria. In Edmonton, Canada, we developed an Urban growth model for the city where we dealt with uncertainty at the local scale. Three scenarios were developed to test alternative development perspectives: ‘Strong Central City’, ‘Node City,’ and ‘Corridor City’. Each scenario has a narrative story that expressed the scenario’s high-level goal, scenario’s approach to residential and commercial activities, transportation vision, and employment, and environmental principles. Dealing with uncertainty at the planning level within cities, is quite different from dealing with regional development of larger areas, where the focus shifts from assessing planning alternatives to a more holistic understanding of the complexities involved in future developments. In the Metro Vancouver Region, we therefore apply a different approach with more attention for inter- and intraregional migration patterns, the diversities in the economy, and the physical limitations for growth, including those likely to be imposed on the region by climate change. Metro Vancouver has 23 member jurisdictions and mandates to coordinate the development across the region. The governance structure is complex, and the future vision has multiple competing interests. This shift in focus has also resulted in a different, more complex modelling approach and a different interaction process with decision makers. The presentation will focus on the lessons learnt in Edmonton and the ongoing process in Vancouver.