Tuesday, May 29, 2012


by Laura Petrov, Carlo Lavalle, Valentina Sagris, Marjo Kasanko, and Niall McCormick

Among other causes the analysis of urban areas and their development has particular relevance because of their growing exposure to natural hazards, particularly floods and forest fires. Inappropriate regional and urban planning can exacerbate the negative effects of natural hazards. On the other hand good land management and planning practices, including appropriate land use and development control in natural hazard-prone areas, represent suitable non-structural solutions to minimise exposure and damage. This paper aims to provide a coherent basis for the spatial planning and management of landscapes in Europe.
The MOLAND urban and regional growth model (Barredo et al., 2004; White et al., 1999) is used to evaluate spatial planning for sustainable urban development and measures for natural risks reduction. A number of indicators set measuring various aspects of urban land use and population density can also be analysed. In this article we describe the application of the MOLAND model in three study cases presenting each a specific development condition: the Algarve Province in Portugal, the Dresden–Prague transport corridor in Germany and in the Czech Republic and the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region (FVG) in Italy.
In modern Portuguese history, after the revolution in 1974, a “democratisation of tourism” occurred and profoundly changed of land use pattern throughout the country. On the other hand, in the last years, Portugal suffered an increased number of large forest fires. The Algarve Province was especially affected. The objectives of the work in Algarve are to monitor sustainable development trends, assess the impact of tourism and evaluate the problems cased by forest fires. The dynamic of land use scenarios are examined as a way to turn intuitive knowledge of a problematic situation into clear research questions that may be explored by analysing and forecasting. The future scenarios produced by the model are tailored to particular requirements such as the assessment of tourism and measures to improve regional needs.
The Dresden-Prague corridor is a very interesting European region because of its historical, present and future development. Many historical and political events and geographical circumstances have moulded the landscape. Recently, during the 2002 flood events have affected the territory destroying villages and inundating cities of Dresden and Prague, in both of which large parts of the old town were under water. How could the land be used in such a way to reduce the floods damages?
The Friuli–Venezia Giulia Region is located in the North-Eastern area of Italy. Because of its geographical positioning and configuration, the region presents a number of peculiarities which have characterized its land use dynamics. FVG has transformed from being a rural area into a dynamic urban region and vast changes have occurred in demographic terms and population movements being related to the Italian economic boom.The region has also suffered the impacts of severe natural hazards, the two major events were the heavy floods of 1966 and 2002 in Pordenone, showing how vulnerable this area is. Early results of this study show that the main driving force of natural disasters damage is not only increasing floods hazard due to climate change, but increasing vulnerability, mainly due to urbanisation in flood prone areas (CEC, 2004; UN, 2004).
The MOLAND model contributes to understand the landscape changes and drivers of the dynamics in the development conditions of each study area. It will help to answer where and at which intensity land-take for urbanization occurs and how spatial growth patters alter over time; how urbanization (e.g. sprawl) affects large areas overruling local and regional decisions and also calamities such as forest fires and floods; how climate change will affect us and the future generations and what can we do? How the people to interfere with natural processes, climate change, the continue changes of land uses and floods/forest fires phenomena?
Urban and regional simulations offer a useful approach to understanding the consequences of current spatial planning policies. The scenarios are considered to generate data of meaningful representations of the region’s characteristics whilst still allowing the model to process data in real-time in response to the wide variety of possible policy decisions specified by the user. The new tool will permit in supporting European policies of sustainable development and derive current strategies regarding the adaptation to the extreme events.

more about modeling land use:

Land use change modelling in an urban region with simultaneous population growth and shrinkage including planning and governance feedbacks

Incremental Integration of Land Use and Activity-Based Travel Modeling: Workplace Choices and Travel Demand

Integrated Land Use and Transportation Planning and Modelling: Addressing Challenges in Research and Practice

Review of existing land/use transport models

A model of residential location choice with endogenous housing prices and traffic for the Paris region


MODELLING TRANSPORT: A Synthesis of Transport Modelling Methodologies

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