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System for planning and research in towns and cities for urban sustainability


Summary: A system for analyzing urban land use and transport policies has been designed compromising the state-of -the -art MEPLAN model (background) and new modules USE-IT (decision support tool), RASTER (to calculate disaggregated GIS based values for exposure to noise, pollutants and land coverage) and MEPLUS (to postprocess data from MEPLAN in order to calculate values for a set of urban sustainability indicators). The system has been tested and the results for a set of urban policies (regulatory, price investment) are available, 35 policy elements have been tested. Based on the test results policies have been formed comprising several elements. Finally also policies have been combined in order to measure the effects of policy combinations.
Summary: The SPARTACUS system comprising of: - a set of urban sustainability indicators. - the MEPLAN land use / transport model. - the USE-IT decision support tool. - the GIS based RASTER method is operational can be used for urban policy formulation and testing as well as testing for individual measures (investment, regulatory, pricing).
Summary: MEPLUS is a GIS-based policy analysis tool designed primarily to manipulate and process the very large volume of model outputs produced within the SPARTACUS system. The MEPLUS module stores these outputs in a structured database which is integrated with a set of procedures for analyzing and displaying policy test results. The system is accessed via a simple menu-driven interface and presents the user with a choice of analysis facilities which are based largely on pairwise comparisons of policy results. The main functions of the module include: - Data capture - a set of procedures for reading and labeling files. - Data storage - a relational database facility which enables run time analysis of results. - Data manipulation and classification - including simple facilities for searching and selecting or filtering data, together with facilities for performing user-defined spatial and spatial classifications and aggregations. - Indicator calculations - original computation of the majority of the sustainability indicators produced by the SPARTACUS system (economic, environmental and social). -Analysis and Display - a variety of procedures for analyzing and summarizing policy test results in the form of cross-tabulations, simple ratios and charts. - Mapping - spatial data display options for producing a range of thematic (land use) maps and network maps. - Reporting - a selection of output options for screen-browsing of results, together with an automatic report generator which provides a permanent record of the policy analysis. The MEPLUS function are offered to the user via a set of procedures which appear as buttons on the title screen. These guide the operation of the system through the various steps from loading in and classifying model outputs to running and reporting on the policy analysis.
Summary: The SPARTACUS system comprising: - a set of urban sustainability indicators - the MEPLAN land use/transport model - the USE-IT decision support tool is operational in the Helsinki Metropolitan Region. The system can be used for urban policy formulation and testing as well as for testing of individual measures (investment, reulatory, pricing).
Summary: USE-IT is a decision support tool in the form of a computer package. The tool is designed to help the decisions maker to structure the decision problem, to give weights and value functions to the properties of alternatives, to make pairwise comparisons, consistency and sensitivity checks. The results are illustrated graphically and in the forms of tables. Licensing of the software is made possible.
Summary: The Raster Module is an add-on module for land use / transport models for modelling locally important environmental impacts and their social implications. The Raster Module uses zonal and link-based outputs from aggregate models, disaggregates it to raster cells of 100 x 100 m in size, applies grid-based analytical and disperion models for assessing environmental and social impacts and aggregates the results to indicators. The output of the Raster Modules are five indicators (land coverage, exposure of population to CO, NO2, PM and traffic noise) and graphical presentations in form of concentration maps for air pollution and of noise level maps.
The SPARTACUS system for the assessment of urban sustainable transport policies is operational in the Naples metropolitan area. It includes: -A set of urban sustainability indicators. -The MEPLAN land use/transport model. -The USE-IT decision support tool. -The GIS based RASTER method -the MEPLUS post-processing tool. The system can be used for urban policy formulation and testing as well as testing for individual measures (investment, regulatory, pricing). The system is being enhanced as part of the PROPOLIS research project (V Framework Research Programme) and is being extended as well to Vicenza Province. The results are described in detail in the SPARTACUS final report ( ). The effects of policy options are presented as indicator and background variable values and indices for the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainability. Information about the further enhancement of the methodology can be found in Naples: The Meplan integrated land-use and transport model was implemented to support the Master Transport Plan of Naples in 1996, whose objectives were strongly orientated toward a better use of the existing public transport infrastructure. The operability of the model was later enriched by the participation in the SPARTACUS and PROPOLiS projects funded by FP4 and FP5 and by local authorities. Later in 1998, the model was selected by DGVII to test on the impact on land use and transport of different policies aimed at reducing CO2 emissions in urban areas. The wide range of applications of the model has confirmed its robustness as well as its flexibility, allowing to explicitly measure the impact of the adoption of different policies and investments on various factors, such the location of households and economic activities, the level of accessibility of zones and the volume and distribution of traffic flows. Vicenza: The integrated land use-transport model was applied for the Master Traffic Plan of the city and refers to the whole province for a total of 27 land use zones and 115 transport zones. The model represents the location of 3 household types (i.e. managerial and professional, non-manual and manual), 8 types of economic activities (i.e. agriculture, industry, construction, trade, primary and secondary school education, public administration, public and private services) and 4 types land/floor space (agricultural, industrial, business-shopping and residential). The interaction between all these factors is represented by variable input-output coefficients. The transport model simulates the effects of detailed transport design on the urban road network and also deals with local parking supply. It is able to reproduce demand reaction to regulatory/pricing policies and provision of park and ride facilities for minibuses in the central area.