TUE 11:00 AM Parallel - Environmental Modeling and Communication

Full report:

Simulating Pollution from Urban Stormwater in Project Twin Streams Catchment, Auckland, New Zealand, by Ines Winz and Gary Brierly

The first presentation, delivered by Ines Winz, summarized work done by Gary Brierley and herself on the topicsof storm run-off, impervious surfaces, environmental damage, and hazards demonstrated using GIS and system dynamics. High levels of heavy metals and sediments reach the estuary, impacting the environment. LIDs (low impact developments) such as appropriate vegetation and aggregates to slow run-off, were compared as a solution to High Impact Developments, which consist of flood channels, piping, and other structural solutions. The model was questioned by the authors for the lack in addressing the social, economic, and cultural inputs and the disconnect between public and local administrators.

An Operational Framework for Seeing and Simulating Feedbacks in Land Change Science, by Burak Gunerlap, Michael Reilly, and Karen Seto

The second presentation, delivered by Burak Gunerlap, summarized his and his co-authors’ research. Discovering the cause for the urbanization of land in the Pearl River Delta of Southern China, as a representation of rapid growth, was the motivation for this research. The authors used system dynamics and GIS to model the cause and effects of rapid urbanization in this area over time, showing influences on the economic, popular, environmental, and administrative sectors. Their next step is a more detailed model to help the Chinese government manage this growth for the benefit of society as a whole.

Visualizing Spatial and Temporal Dynamics in Google Earth Using Powersim, by Thomas Lowry and Robert Taylor

The authors of the third presentation point out the effectiveness of system dynamics as a tool policy-makers can use in scenario testing and risk analysis. Using Powersim and Google Earth together, each a powerful visual tool, the presenter demonstrated a few of the many benefits. Many decisions made daily can be done using this exciting combination, which allows users to see the potential impact of their planning in space and time without spending valuable time and assets in the field.

In conclusion, two valuable tools were put to good use in all three studies, allowing an area to be studied over time and from different views without massive and costly fieldwork. The benefits these studies remain to be seen. This author believes the value of this combination of visual tools will be proven over time, as the system dynamics process is more widely accepted as a viable preliminary guide and timesaver to the direction of field studies.    

Lyle A. Davis