Development and implementation of an activity based dynamic land use model for Flanders

Tomas Crols, Frank Canters

Research Cartography and GIS (CGIS)

2011-2015. Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) funding

The MIRA 2009 Environment Report for Flanders statesthat sealed surfaces in Flanders will grow until 2030 with almost 7 ha per day. To predict and map the future expansion of the urban environment land-use change models need to be developed. To simulate future land-use change, we can make use of Cellular Automata (CA) models which allow for the direct modelling of interactions between different land uses. However, in areas with strongly mixed land-uses, like Flanders, different types and intensities of human activity occur within a single dominant land-use. Dealing with these mixtures can be done by directly modelling the intensity of activities (population density and employment in different sectors) within the CA grid environment. This approach is both technically simpler and more realistic in representing the bottom-up morphogenetic processes generating observed spatial patterns. In this research, an activity-based CA model will be developed, calibrated and applied for Flanders, based on the improvement of a prototype version developed for Belgium as a whole. It should be able to cope with the complex multi-nodal structure and messy morphology of Flanders.

The goals of the PhD are to develop an ACA model for Flanders, improve the quality of the used activity input data, improve the model calibration by using remote sensing data sets, and finally develop dynamical spatial indicators to show the impact of land-use change on the environment and the economy to policy makers.

This project is supervised by Frank Canters (CGIS), Guy Engelen (VITO), Lien Poelmans (VITO) and  Roger White (Memorial University of Newfoundland)