A Coupled Urban Spatial Simulation and Stormwater Runoff Model and Its Implications for Physrical Design: The Case of Chicago

This project argues that designing for resilience in contemporary landscape architecture should be a cross-disciplinary endeavor that is driven by an understanding of urban system science. The shift in focus from a designer-controlled process as a normative exercise to landscape design within the context of a multitude of exigent circumstances requires designers to understand the mechanisms underlying complex systems. Despite the rush to establish design or planning guidelines to cope with emerging resilience issues, however, the integration of urban system science with design creation is still an arduous task. To this aim, we need to have complex (but accessible) analytical approaches that investigate urban dynamics and that produce information that landscape architects find useful, practical, and understandable. This project explores ways to promote a science based design process that is actively incorporated with quantifiable information, dynamic modeling systems, and real-world applications. Our results show that location choices of land development are affected by not only typical socioeconomic variables but also hydrological variables and that those relationships appear to be nonlinear. The coupled GSSHA-LEAM system enables the exploration of bi-directional effects between LUC and runoff by iteratively coupling modeling input and outputs at a similar spatial scale (30m x 30m). This project ultimately contributes to efforts to move toward more robust and resilient regional planning and applications that take into account changing environmental and social conditions. It supports the need for cell-based forward-looking dynamic modeling to better understand potential sociohydrological interactions and strategically establish a resilient built environment.

  • PI: Brian Deal
  • PI Institution: University of Illinois
  • March 1, 2020 – December 31, 2021