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- Background & Vision
- Enter… Modelling
- Overview of UrbanBEATS
- Ongoing Development and Testing
Background and Vision
The Urban Biophysical Environments and Technologies Simulator (UrbanBEATS) is an integrated modelling tool designed to support the planning of sustainable, liveable and resilient cities. With the ongoing challenges of urbanisation and population growth, climate change, biodiversity loss and, more recently, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, cities are facing a growing list of challenges to adapt. It is widely recognised that solutions in cities can no longer be mono-functional. Designing with nature and biomimicry have long been recognised as attractive, sustainable and resilient solutions. Planning and design to maximise provision of ecosystem services, namely goods and services that satisfy human needs directly and indirectly while protecting the natural environment is increasingly recognised. The approach is inherently interdisciplinary, drawing upon a rich body of knowledge and experience beyond just simple engineering or urban planning. An integrated approach is essential if we want to deliver smarter solutions that are adaptable to the uncertain future.
Urban Water Management offers many opportunities to help cities achieve multiple ecosystem services through smart management of the water cycle. In particular, Blue Green Systems are nature-based solutions that allow the provision of a wide range of multiple ecosystem services and benefits to cities and their natural environment. The concept has existed for decades and has taken many shapes and forms across the globe, including Water Sensitive Urban Design, Green Infrastructure, Low Impact Development and Sponge Cities among other names. Due to different historical and cultural drivers, such systems are diverse, ranging from smarter spatial planning, to inter-connected urban green spaces, decentralised stormwater management technologies (e.g. bioretention systems, constructed wetlands, infiltration systems) and a whole suite of non-structural tools including policy, legislation and behavioural change. The way we manage water in cities is evolving rapidly (see Fig. 1), from traditional provision of water supply to sanitation and drainage, environmental protection. Over the last decade, the idea of the Water Sensitive Cities paradigm has been a hot topic, underpinned by three core pillars: (1) …
Modelling tools are attractive tools as they provide virtual laboratories to support planners and other stakeholders in their decision-making. These virtual laboratories allow testing of ideas, evaluation of how differences in stakeholder objectives and opinions may result in different design solutions (if at all) and to automate otherwise laborious tasks of assessing opportunities and constraints surrounding our design space. UrbanBEATS provides such a platform to assess the
More information about what UrbanBEATS is coming soon.