Can computer simulations support sustainable transitions?

19 October 2021

Can computer simulations support sustainable transitions?

The third and final SMARTEES online webinar on 14 October 2021 dove into using computer simulations make sustainability transitions more successful. It presented and gave participants a chance to explore the SMARTEES Policy Sandbox Tool - a new tool that aims to help cities to foster their related energy and mobility actions.

Isabel lema Blanco, Associate researcher at People-Environmental Research Group at University of A Coruña, Spain, started off discussing how policy scenario workshops in SMARTEES carried out with the project cities, helped them to embed modelling into urban planning. Isabel Lema Blanco, Research Associate at the University of A Coruna reminding participants that policy scenarios are there to support policy action, by helping decision makers explore different choices and think outside the box.

The experts working in application in cities got to discuss their experiences next. Loes Bouman, Researcher at the University of Groningen, highlighted how agent-based modelling incorporated in the tool helps to predict behaviours or people and groups. The ‘HUMAT’ agent-based modelling (ABM) architecture developed in SMARTEES allows for analysis and exploration of human drivers in detail. During SMARTEES the modelling done in Groningen was applied successfully to help planning for more sustainable mobility in Budapest.Tünde Hajnal, Head of Mobility Planning at Budapest Transport Department found the SMARTEES modelling especially useful on planning strategies for social engagement with citizens. The modelling done in Barcelona had in turn allowed replicating successful superblocks schemes in other neighbourhoods, improving on the initial results. Aberdeen has found ABM very useful to plan district heating networks. For ABM they found it challenging to get information from locals to input in the modelling, but found working with local associations helpful in reaching citizens. Groningen also sees great potential in modelling, with the major challenge in getting other departments to shift to the modern computer modelling method.

This was followed by a presentation of the SMARTEES Policy Sandbox Tool, allowing participants to explore it for themselves and test out scenarios. Trevor Graham, Director at Urbanisland, Malmö, Sweden, concluded by reiterating that the tool launched at the end of October 2021, will be available for everyone on the SMARTEES website, and support for the use of the tool will be provided to help everyone harness the power of agent-based modelling for sustainable energy- and mobility transitions.

Watch the full webinar recording to learn more.



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 763912. The sole responsibility for the content of this website lies with the SMARTEES project. It does not necessarily represent the opinion of the European Union.