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Content archived on 2024-05-14

Ecological and environmental monitoring and simulation system for management decision support in urban areas


ECOSIM will be a support system to investigate and forecast pollution levels in urban areas. By allowing the effects of industrial developments or new roads to be quickly and easily examined, public authorities will be able to ensure that environmental impact is fully considered in their urban plans. They will also be able to forecast shorter-term pollution levels - typically over the next 24 hours.

ECOSIM will be based on sophisticated computer models such as those which calculate ozone levels from road traffic emissions. It combines these models with up-to-date measurements of current meteorological conditions and pollution by linking directly into local databases and pollution measurement stations. It also links the various factors such as surface water, coastal water and air to ensure that as complete a picture as possible can be predicted of environmental conditions.
The system makes use of very high-performance computers whenever it needs to, and it uses the latest methods in handling maps and similar data to ensure that its results can be easily translated into practical measures for pollution control.
ECOSIM will be developed and tested in close collaboration with three city authorities with differing environmental problems and current approaches to environmental management. It will assist the Berlin and Athens authorities to control ozone and air-borne pollutants. In the case of Athens it will also help the authorities to understand the environmental effects of its land-fill sites and any impact they may have on ground water quality. It will enable Gdansk, which has only limited pollution monitoring systems, to plan pollution control strategies for the future.

Major Validation Sites
Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung und Umweltschutz, Berlin, DE
Ministry of Environment, Athens, GR
City Board, Gdansk, PL

Three public authorities at Berlin, Athens and Gdansk will provide day-to-day feedback to the ECOSIM developers and will use the system on their current environmental problems. A larger group of mainly urban authorities will be kept in close contact with the project to ensure its wider appeal.

ECOSIM makes use of high-performance computing technology where necessary to provide sufficient power to conduct its complex simulations. The wide range of data and results which ECOSIM will encompass will be managed by a multimedia tool-kit and a Geographic Information System.

Expected Benefits
- more effective environmental planning within urban areas resulting in a cleaner environment
- more information on levels of pollution of general interest to the public
- increased confidence and accuracy in evaluating the effects of industrial and other developments
- more effective public investments, due to inclusion of costs of environmental impact
- opportunities for European enterprises to develop advanced environmental support systems applicable to a wide range of urban areas.

Contribution to EU Policies
ECOSIM will contribute to several projects within the multi-annual work programme of the European Environmental Agency. It is also in line with policy on urban areas within COM(92)23 'Towards Sustainability'.

Call for proposal

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Environmental Software & Services GmbH
EU contribution
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Total cost
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Participants (10)