Participatory modelling to support group decision making processes in climate resilient urban design

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Interest in climate resilience is growing worldwide among policy makers, urban planners, citizens and scientists. Climate Resilient Urban Design (CRUD) relates to the (re-)design of urban areas in such a way that cities and citizens become less vulnerable to climate change. Weather phenomena like heat stress, droughts and floods impact the lives of city dwellers, villagers, and rural residents all over the globe. The making of policies dealing with climate resilience in urban environments is a process that inevitably involves stakeholders from various disciplines, each with their own interests, constraints and goals. Group Model Building (GMB) (Vennix, 1999) is known to facilitate the decision making processes by modelling important variables and their causal relations in a Causal Loop Diagram (CLD). This participatory group modelling process creates a shared understanding of the problem, incorporating the views of all stakeholders, and it improves the support for the final decisions taken. The GRACeFUL (Global systems Rapid Assessment tools through Constraint Functional Languages) project aims at supporting decision making in complex problems by connecting participatory processes (using GMB) to scientific evidence through novel tools. Rapid Assessment Tools typify causal factors and linkages with concrete data from other system layers and produce a set of viable and acceptable alternative solutions to be used in decision making. Simulation tools will simulate the alternative scenarios over time and visualization tools will show the results of the different CRUD solutions on maps. The case study area is a neighbourhood in the city of Dordrecht, the Netherlands. The municipality is planning to redevelop the public space in this neighbourhood taking into account climate resilience and involving different stakeholders, including citizens.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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