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Involving end-users in calibration and validation processes: A key factor to favor transfer of integrated models

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Context and motivation Environmental issues now pose a threat to human civilization worldwide [1]. The risks associated with delayed reaction and adaptation times make the situation urgent [2]. The problems are amplified by their systemic nature: First the environment is degrading on all fronts at the same time and at the global planetary scale. Second the complexity and intertwining of our socio-economic organization are extreme. As focal points of human activity, urban areas concentrate and amplify environmental pressures in a direct or indirect way. Faced with this situation, researchers mobilize; in particular systemic and pluridisciplinary approaches have the wind in their sails. Nevertheless, and despite the urgency, there is a clear lack of transfer of sustainability science findings from the academic world to the political one. In this context, opening the discussion on how to ensure and accelerate the transfer of knowledge and associated tools developed by researchers on systemic modeling at local scale towards local decision makers is critical. The objectives of the CITiES project 1, which builds on such a statement in the framework of"Land Use and Transport Interaction" modeling (LUTI), meet this need 2, at least in part (see for example [3] for a general overview of LUTI). In particular, we tackle two important bottlenecks: the complexity of the calibration processes and the assessment of the reliability of the models. For some time now, researchers interact with institutional actors to specify relevant urban policy scenarios and indicators used in LUTI models. But it seems that these interactions with stakeholders are not enoughto favor a large diffusion of these tools: Integrating end-users in the entire modeling process, from the definition of the objectives of the modeling exercise to the validation processes, appears as a determining factor. For example, the models' calibration processes must be appropriate to the constraints and limitations of local agencies and they have, like the validation procedures too, to be consistent with their needs and objectives. Let us also note that a deep analysis of the gap between academic and operational worlds is essential for a clear understanding of the situation and to see solution. With this goal in mind we first present in this article a work which is based on a survey and which aims at improving the understanding of the conditions under which LUTI models would be accepted and used by planners and practitioners. We also present a second work which focuses on more methodological propositions related to the necessity to well formalize the objectives of the modeling exercises with stakeholders, and for the modelers, to fully respect these objectives during the calibration and validation processes. On acceptability of LUTI models by end users as operational tools Methodology While many articles are proposing state-of-the-art reviews and typologies of LUTI models, few are questioning their 1 See section "Acknowledgments". 2 Focusing on such integrated models that are already quite complex but simpler than other more comprehensive integrated models should allow to eventually better grasp this general issue.
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Dates and versions

hal-01101228 , version 1 (12-01-2015)


  • HAL Id : hal-01101228 , version 1


Emmanuel Prados, Mathieu Saujot, Anthony Tschirhard, Jorge Cabrera Delgado, Matthieu de Lapparent. Involving end-users in calibration and validation processes: A key factor to favor transfer of integrated models. Symposium "Towards integrated modelling of urban systems", Oct 2014, Lyon, France. pp.4. ⟨hal-01101228⟩
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