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Rapid assessment of transport emissions in developing Asian cities: requirements of a sketch-planning tool and evaluation of the model RACE

Arends, Rik (2013) Rapid assessment of transport emissions in developing Asian cities: requirements of a sketch-planning tool and evaluation of the model RACE.

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Abstract:Asian cities are growing rapidly with approximately 120,000 people a day and the earth's climate system is changing due to the copious amounts of emitted greenhouse gases. To mitigate climate change it is important to reduce the impact of the city on the natural environment. In particular reducing transport emissions is essential in mitigating climate change. Sustainable urban development can reduce transport emissions. Models can provide insights in these developments and show how policies can reduce emissions. The first objective of this research is to determine what the requireme nts are for a sketch-planning tool that models from land-use transport emissions. This results in a descriptive evaluation framework. The second objective is to assess the model RACE (Rapid Assessm ent of City Emissions) and provide an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of this model, by using the evaluation framework. The RACE model is developed by Clean Air Asia to provide insights in transport emission s caused by urban development. It creates 'what-if scenarios to show how transport emissions could develop over a 20-year period. RACE uses GIS mapping for scenario development and a spreadsheet to calculate transport volume and emissions . To determine the requiremen ts of a sketch-planning tool the conceptual framework of Kolkman (2005) is used. The framework distinguishes two cycles in model development: r. The problem solving cycle, which looks into the context in which a model has to operate; this is applied to the problems ofland use planning in developing Asian cities. 2. The model development cycle, which interprets the knowledge of real world phenomena in a model; this is applied to modeling land-use transport emissions in developing A sian cities. The problem solving cycle is researched by conducting interviews and literature review regarding the policy process of land use planning in developing Asian cities. The model development cycle is researched by a literature review ofland use transport emissions modeling. In addition to these two modelling cycles, Kolkman acknowledges the importance of the end-user. This concept is used to determine the role of and requirements from end-users in land use planning. The determined requirements of a sketch-planning tool resulted in an evaluation framework of ten criteria and identified two important end-users: local policymakers and development agencies. The ten criteria describe on the one hand how the model can be useful in the context of land use planning in developing Asian cities, according to the limitations and requirements of the different end-users. On the other hand describes how the model can be theoretically sound by showing how a model can be advanced. A model is useful if it is (1) cognizant of the dr ivers of urban planning, (2) used at a strategic planning level, (3) easy to use and understandable, (4) adaptable and flexible to the local situation, (5) the cost ofimplementation are minimal, and (6) complete and comprehensive. A model is theoretical sound if it (7) correctly models the relationship between land use and transport, (8) correctly models the relationship between transport and emissions, (9) is empirically and behaviorally valid and (10) is consistent. RACE is assessed by applying the ten criter ia of the evaluation framework. Insights in RACE are gained by conducting the analytical tests of Forrester and Senger (1980) and complemented by interviews with its developers, end-users , and stakeholders. It is concluded that RACE is a tool that is potentially useful for many developing Asian cities. It is cognizant of the drivers of urban planning in the cities in which it is currently implemented and is providing long-term strategic policy options. It is, however, heavily reliant on costly and slow-to-develop GIS maps which also severely limits it as a sketch-planning tool. RACE has incorporated both important end-users. From the perspective of local policymakers, RACE shows how their city will develop in 20- years time , but it falls short to identify local projects or problems. For the development agencies, RACE can provide an indicative citywide assessment of transport emissions. The feedba ck link between land use and transport is not complete. The transport calculations are very aggregate, it omits the transport network and the modal split is a n input variable. The emissions calculations are aggrega te but correct. In addition, the direction of policy implications is not always correct. Comparison to other cities is difficult due to the large variation in local circumstances and limited options for validation. Regarding the evaluation framework and RACE several recommendations are made. It is recommended to determine which criteria of the evaluation framewor k are more important and whether or not they are generalizable. The land use policy proc ess in developing Asian cities should be researched in greater detail to understand the policy process better and to improve the usefulness of a model. Regarding RACE the main recommendations are to: validate the results; improve the connections between the GIS maps and the spreadsheet; improve the flexibility and adaptability to different input variables; improve the transport calculations; and model the directions and magnitude of change due to different policies correctly.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:55 traffic technology, transport technology
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
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