The virtual city with real decisions: iTEAM



The use of city models for supporting simulation-based scenario studies has become
a regular practice throughout the world. These models, however, tend to focus on
very few aspects (e.g. land-use, transportation) assuming an exogenous participation
of other fundamental aspets (e.g. energy, communications). The problem is that a
large number of relevant interactions become compromised or even absent at all.
And this is even more important with current trends like electrical vehicles or realtime
mobility information. For example, for studying future transport systems we
need also to include energy supply dynamics.
An important motivation for this apparent simplicity of current models has been that
modeling a large number of urban sub-systems, or integrated modeling, is not only
extremely complex to design but also computationally expensive. While these
reasons have justified strong opposition to integrated models in the past (e.g. (Lee,
1973)), the current situation has changed radically, particularly in terms of
computational power. More importantly, today we have a much more interconnected
city than we had before, with ubiquitous systems, smart-grid, internet, etc. and it’s
becoming forbidding to ignore such complexity in urban modeling itself.
This paper introduces an integrated transportation and energy activity-based model
(iTEAM), a tool for the evaluation of “green policies” aimed at enhancing
sustainability and well-being. The model will simulate individual/household and
organization/firm agents at a micro level. The aggregate simulation results will help
forecast the impacts of policies on transport system efficiency and land-use
dynamics in the simulated areas. This process is complemented by Material Flow
Accounting (MFA) techniques, which account for a range of factors including wellbeing,
waste production, and carbon emissions to calculate the urban metabolism.
This project is currently implemented at several levels. Data collection consists of a
smartphone survey, home-based telemetering, an online survey, acquisition of
National Census, and other official population databases. The modeling of
individual agents (households, individuals, firms, developers) focuses on activity
patterns and is implemented in the Open Platform for Urban Simulation, OPUS
(Waddell et al, 2003). Work towards the integration of Material Flow Accounting
(MFA) (Niza et al., 2009)) in this platform is also progressing. This paper presents the overall project, with focus on the modeling methodology,
coming from Behavioural Econometrics, Transport Engineering and Urban
Planning. We present the current status of the project and results reached so far.


urban models, activity models, pervasive data processing


Integrated Urban Modelling and Aided- support decision

Related Project



7VCT, 7th Virtual Cities and Territories, 2011

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