Urban development and infrastructure cost modelling for managing urban growth in Latin-American Cities

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Rapid urban growth presents considerable challenges to cities in Latin America and calls for tools and mechanisms that can help identify priority areas of work and enable integrated responses for urban sustainability, especially with regard to access and delivery of infrastructure services. The concentration of population, however, generates high demand for services. When the expansion of the supply of services is inadequate, significant deficits emerge in the coverage and quality of infrastructure and services, including housing. These problems are compounded by weak urban governance. (IDB, 2015) Thus solutions are required to secure sustainable urban development considering financing limits of cities authorities as well quality of life and environment. Infrastructure planning can either respond to urban growth providing supply by following the demand or it can pro-actively shape urban development in a resource efficient way by providing supply directing the demand. Thus appropriate infrastructure design can serve as an instrument for "soft" urban growth management. AIT (Austrian Institute of Technology) has been contracted by the IDB (Inter-American Development Bank) to develop a tool (model) to simulate urban expansion triggered by infrastructure development and to estimate related infrastructure costs. The tool allows simulating different urban development scenarios based on different assumption on population behaviour and criteria triggering this behaviour. The tool called UIDS (Urban and Infrastructure Development Simulator) allows testing infrastructure networks extensions and estimates the expected infrastructure costs to assist cities in resource efficient as well as cost efficient infrastructure design. Backbone of the tool is a spatially explicit micro-simulation of urban expansion conducted through an agent-based model (ABM) as well as AIT´s MASGISmo simulation platform making use of the RePastJ environment for ABM modeling and R-statistics as well as a PostgreSQL/PostGis database and a GeoServer for Web Map Services (WMS). Single agents representing households of different socioeconomic classes trigger land cover and land use change within an area by moving to certain places. To model dwelling suitability for the agent classes the urban-region landscape is described through attractiveness layers representing different characteristics increasing (or decreasing) the suitability of potential urban expansion areas. The additional infrastructure costs for road network, water- and sanitation network, electricity and gas network, are estimated based on costs per unit (e.g. km pipeline, area covered etc.) and the related supply ratio. Based on the new dwelling allocations the infrastructure costs related to water and sanitation, transportation, and energy are calculated as distribution and connection costs and aggregated to total costs for the city, which are compared between different urban development scenarios.
TitelrealCORP 2015. Proceedings
Redakteure/-innenManfred Schrenk, Vasily V. Popovich, Peter Zeile, Pietro Elisei
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2015

Research Field

  • Ehemaliges Research Field - Energy


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