Urban Simulation

What does the future hold – How can urban modelling capabilities be more accessible?

The first step towards developing a viable institutional and financial model has been taken by the Gauteng Province Department of Roads and Transport (GPDRT), with its initiative to establish an Integrated Transport Modelling Centre (GITMC). The initiative is aimed at serving the long term transportation planning needs of the Department as well the municipalities in Gauteng. To date a comprehensive institutional framework was developed which included a strong focus on human capital development. A viable institutional and financial model has been identified as a critical step within the stepSA initiative to build the required capability and develop a modelling framework for planning and investment decision-support within a particular city or city region in a sustainable way.

The objectives of the initiative is to: (1) Use UrbanSim as the growth (demand) model which can be interfaced with any metro’s model of choice (EMME, VISUM and potentially others) to model supply; (2) Establishing the GITMC as the custodian, not only of the data for the ITMP25 model but also of the data required by UrbanSim in a way that will allow all models (UrbanSim, EMME, VISUM and MATSim) to work from the same repository of data. Such a repository would include long-term demographic and economic projections, land use and building data, public transport routes in Google General Transit Feed Specification format, layers of environmentally sensitive areas, etc; (3) Continue the process of capacity development; (4) Develop a strategy to take the metros along on the journey to a single Transportation Authority by demonstrating the benefits of newer technologies through performing case studies (led by CSIR staff) in at least one metro.

The CSIR, with support from DST through the stepSA initiative, will in the next 3 years also invest substantial effort into developing capability and an institutional plan to ensure that the Urban Modelling capability (demand modelling for infrastructure) being provided by a platform like UrbanSim becomes increasingly accessible to all metros in the country. However, due to varying capabilities and access to resources it will need to be a plan or framework that comes up with options accommodating the unique context of each metro.

For more information on Urban Simulation contact:

Quintin van Heerden, CSIR

Gerbrand Mans, CSIR

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