Integrated Modeling Development for Environmental Planning

Author: | published date:2013-11-30

Peking University has developed the earliest research group on environmental planning in China. Since the 1980s, four categories of models have been proposed, covering environmental evaluation, simulation, optimization, and integrated simulation-optimization models. The group has conducted over 60 case studies across the country on both national and regional scales, among which some are the first ones applied in China. The proposed models have effectively supported national-level decision-making on environmental protection and regional sustainable development.

The main technical innovations are highlighted as follows:

a)        Integrated Evaluation and Simulation Model on Regional and Watershed Scale. We have proposed an integrated model for evaluation and simulation of regional (watershed) environmental system. It can simulate and forecast the complex “Society-Economy-Environment” system, providing quantitative decision-making support. Some uncertainty-based parameter estimation methods, such as Bayesian inference, have been developed for efficient water and air quality modeling. The models have been applied in a variety of case studies, i.e. Lake Dianchi, Beijing urban area and River Liaohe.

b)       Uncertainty-based Optimization Algorithms. The civil and environmental decision-making processes are plagued with uncertain, vague, and incomplete information. Since the 1990s, we have developed a series of uncertainty-based optimization algorithms, including single- and multi-objective ones. Our recent studies proposed a risk explicit interval linear programming (REILP) algorithm to overcome the limitations of existing interval linear programming approaches. The modeling results showed that REILP can efficiently explore the interval uncertainty space and generate an optimal decision front that directly reflects the tradeoff between decision risks and system return. Therefore it allows decision makers to make effective decision based on the risk-reward information generated by the REILP modeling analysis.

c)        Integrated Simulation-Optimization Modeling Algorithms. Two uncertainty and nonlinearity-based simulation-optimization models were developed for efficient environmental decision making, including Nonlinearity Interval Mapping Scheme (NIMS) and Bayesian Recursive Regression Tree model (BRRT). The models can effectively demonstrate the uncertainty and nonlinearity characteristics of environmental system, and effectively realize the optimization of planning scheme. Our case studies of waste load allocation analysis in some U.S. and China watersheds demonstrated that the proposed models have a higher computational efficiency than the existing algorithms without prejudice to accuracy and can provide feasible ways to solve the large-scale environmental planning issues.

d)       Integrated Model for Lake-Watershed Ecosystem Management (IMLWEM). The Integrated Model for Lake-Watershed Ecosystem Management (IMLWEM) was consisted with lake-watershed ecosystem dynamics modeling (EDMLW), integrated ecosystem assessment (IEA) model, ecological-economic optimization modeling (IMLOPOEEW), and optimal modeling for management alternatives based on inexact chance-constrained linear programming (ICCLP). The proposed IMLWEM have been widely used in more than 10 watershed cases in China.

The above studies have resulted in 98 peer-reviewed papers in international journals with a total citation of 586 times and the maximum citation of 68 times for a single paper, and additional 200 ones in Chinese journals with a total citation of 2,787 times and the maximum citation of 211 times. Six monographs, one textbook and one registered software were produced. The textbook entitled “Environmental Planning (Second Edition)” was regarded as the most influential textbook in this field in China. Two Ph.D. graduates were nominated as the National One-Hundred Outstanding Doctoral Scientific Dissertation Award and one won “Hundred Talents Program” of Peking University. The group members have been serving as the deputy directors of Environmental Planning Scientific Committee under Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences (CSES), the chief scientist of the National Major Science and Technology Projects, and some editorial board members in China and international journals.