(319g) Water and Energy Systems in Sustainable City Development: Agent-Based Modelling and Resource Technology Optimization

Wang, X. - Presenter, Imperial College London
van Dam, K. H. V. D., Imperial College London
Triantafyllidis, C., Imperial College London
Koppelaar, R., Imperial College London
Shah, N., Imperial College London
The grand challenges facing human societies are all closely interconnected with the sustainable provisioning of energy, water and material resources for constantly growing and developing populations, as well as the subsequent processing and management of wastes and pollutions [1]. Urban water and energy systems are expanding and require attention and careful planning to minimize their economic and environmental impact both from an operational and investment perspective. However, there is a lack of a sufficiently systematic approach to address these impacts and achieve the optimal strategies either in the context of research or real-world decision making [2].

Facing the challenges of energy and water systems in urban development, this work describes a decision-making platform combining a comprehensive database, agent-based simulation modelling and resource technology network optimization. The current regional demographics, land-use, infrastructure and economic information is used as input for the initial state of the focused urban system incorporating energy, water and other related resources. Detailed spatio-temporal demand data, obtained by simulating a synthetic population using agent-based models, is further used to plan capacity utilization and expansion by supply-side matching on a cost optimal basis, eventually aiming to explore the optimal design and operational strategies for residential, commercial, industrial, and other sectors in urban energy and water systems, and especially their nexus. Moreover, long-term socio-economic scenarios are addressed in the urban system development through a real-time feedback loop.

The outputs depict, with fine spatial and temporal resolutions, an overall energy-water landscape of the studied urban region (e.g., Greater Accra Metropolitan Area in Ghana as a prototype [3]). The material and energy balance of supply and demand from both macro and micro perspectives are obtained, and further used to propose environmental friendly and cost effective sustainable city investment and development strategies. Several representative use cases are built under different scenarios to maximize utilization of resources, minimize net waste generation, and improve social welfare to engage local stakeholders. This work is to become a core component of the resilience.io platform as an open-source, data-driven, integrated systematic tool gathering social, environmental and economic data to inform urban planning, investment and policy-making for city-regions globally.


[1] Bringezu, S. and Bleischwitz, R. eds., 2009. Sustainable resource management: global trends, visions and policies. Greenleaf Publishing.

[2] Keirstead, J. and Shah, N., 2013. Urban energy systems: an integrated approach. Routledge.

[3] Koppelaar, R., Sule, M.N., Kis, Z., Mensah, F., Wang, X., Triantafyllidis, C., van Dam, K.H., Shah, N., 2016. Urban water and sanitation flows in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area. Urban Water Journal (submitted).