One of SMART Infrastructure Facility’s current research projects was presented to an industry and research peers at the 23rd NSW Coastal Conference in late 2014.

Research Fellow Rohan Wickramasuriya presented ‘Vision Illawarra: Beyond trend analysis for urban planning’ on the third day of the conference in the Shoalhaven.

Vision Illawarra is a next generation model being developed by SMART, which aims to provide a vision of how the social and economic fabric of the Illawarra could look in the future.

In this presentation, Rohan discusses the selection of modelling techniques and the ongoing development of the integrated model in detail. He also presents results from scenario analysis, particularly in relation to the integrated land use and transportation modules developed for the Illawarra region in New South Wales.

Read the full abstract below.

Abstract

Strategic regional planning is often challenging as it requires careful balancing of competing priorities such as vibrant and connected communities, accessible and affordable transport, innovative and productive economy, and protected natural environments. Although modelling offers an attractive solution to this problem, many current regional planning models rely on feed-forward trend analysis. These trends are based on demographic or economic assumptions that lock-in regional growth into a unique pathway. A weaker initial assumption can result in a less plausible evolution in other aspects of the regional development. Regional planning models need to follow observed patterns to become useful. To this end, such models should incorporate land use, transport, economic and demographic factors that interact with each other and co-evolve in a simulation environment.

Aiming to fill this gap, we have embarked on a project to develop a replicable, comprehensive integrated dynamic model that facilitates strategic planning in coastal regions. We use a sophisticated simulation platform called GEONAMICA to build and integrate five modules that encapsulate land use, transport, macroeconomic, demographic and utility consumption dynamics. Modelling methods and techniques have been carefully selected based on a stringent set of criteria. For example, the criterion ‘level of detail’ requires that the land use module supports modelling of natural land use types in addition to commonly modelled residential and industrial/commercial land uses, given the importance of environmental indices in medium to long term planning.

In this paper, we discuss the selection of modelling techniques and the ongoing development of the integrated model in detail. We also present results from scenario analysis, particularly in relation to the integrated land use and transportation modules developed for the Illawarra region in New South Wales.