Towards a Planning Decision Support System for Low-Carbon Urban Development
The flows of carbon and energy produced by urbanized areas represent one of the aspects of urban sustainability that can have an important impact on climate change. For this reason, in recent years the quantitative estimation of the so-called urban metabolism components has increasingly attracted the attention of researchers from different fields. On the other hand, it has been well recognized that the structure and design of future urban development can significantly affect the flows of material and energy exchanged by an urban area with its surroundings. In this context, the paper discusses a software framework able to estimate the carbon exchanges accounting for alternative scenarios which can influence urban development. The modelling system is based on four main components: (i) a Cellular Automata model for the simulation of the urban land-use dynamics; (ii) a transportation model, able to estimate the variation of the transportation network load and (iii) the ACASA (Advanced Canopy-Atmosphere-Soil Algorithm) model which was tightly coupled with the (iv) mesoscale weather model WRF for the estimation of the relevant urban metabolism components. An in-progress application to the city of Florence is presented and discussed.
Keywordsurban metabolism urban sustainability cellular automata land-use dynamics
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