Stochastic System Dynamics Integrative Model: An Integrated Modeling Framework Spanning Policy Domains

Stochastic System Dynamics Integrative Model: An Integrated Modeling Framework Spanning Policy Domains

Francesco di Pierro (University of Surrey, UK), Soon-Thiam Khu (University of Surrey, UK) and Tim Oxley (Imperial College London, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-156-0.ch003
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Abstract

Although it is widely recognized that urban planning has a large implication on the provision of utilities, services and other urban infrastructures, it is usually undertaken in isolation. Increasingly over the last 15 years, various types of integrated models have been developed to support policy making in addressing specific problems related to the changing land-use and land-cover pattern and their effect on the land system. However, the deepening of the understanding of the implications of these changes on the land and social system, the increasing awareness of their strong interconnections with design and provision of large infrastructures (transportation, water and energy), and the fragmentation of the regulatory bodies and stakeholders, all compound the matter and call for integrative approaches and tools that can reconcile large process specific information and provide practical support for participated decision making. This chapter provides an extensive review of the latest work in the field and presents Stochastic System Dynamics Integrative Model (SSDIM), a modeling framework that improves upon the existing ones on some important respects. By modeling the interconnections between land use change, waste water infrastructures (drainage and treatment) and water quality in receiving water bodies through a chain of physically-based simulation models, it provides high level integration across important domains and detailed information across different physical and temporal scales to adequately support impact assessment of urban plans through the analysis of various influential factors. These include, but are not limited to, alternative planning policies at a local or regional level (for example, urban growth patterns), location and extent of protected areas, different demographic scenarios, refined characteristics of new developments, (for instance, maximum housing densities), alternative design and expansion options of the sewer network; provision of added treatment facilities or new treatment technologies. Examples of applications are presented through two case studies. The SSDIM framework is an effort to provide developers, regulators and water companies a common test bed to assess the impact of their decisions on the performance of existing assets and quality of water bodies, and devise coordinated plans.
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Modeling Frameworks

Increasingly over the last 15 years, various types of integrated models have been successfully developed to support policy making in addressing specific problems related to the changing land-use and land-cover pattern and their effect on the land system. Building upon the conceptualization proposed by Mather (2006), integrated models address the relations between human land-use activities and environmental change and they can be represented as human-environment systems with socio-economic as well as ecological and biophysical components as sub-systems.

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