MAS/LUCC Resource Page: Research Project Details

TiGrESS (Time-Geographical Approaches to Emergence and Sustainable Societies)
Institution: (1) School of Historical Studies, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK. (2) Research Institute for Knowledge Systems (RIKS bv.), Netherlands. (3) School of Water Sciences, Cranfield University, UK. (4) Centre National de Rechereche Scientifique (CNRS-DR01), France. (5) Departamento de Medio Ambiente, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Spain. (6) Department of Environmental Science & Technology, Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine, UK. (7) Centre for Water Systems , University of Exeter, UK. (8) David Lock Associates, UK. (9) Seaton Associates, UK. (10) Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, UK.
Principal Investigators: (1) Nick Winder. (2) Guy Engelen. (3) Paul Jeffrey and Brian S. McIntosh. (4) Lena Sanders. (5) Marrisol Garrido. (6) Murdoch McAllister and Tim Oxley. (7) Dragan Savic. (8) Arwel Owen. (9) Roger Seaton. (10) Jerry Busby.
Grant Number: EVG3-2001-00024 (funded by EC FP5, start date Feb. 2003)

Description: Time-Geographical (TG) methods in social science research have been in existence since the 1950’s [Hägerstrand 1953, 1961, 1970, 1985] and have either directly inspired or can be closely related to a range of modern individual-based social simulation techniques including micro-simulation modelling and multi-agent simulation [Troitsch 1996, Ferrand 2000]. The past 10 years have shown that an ad hoc approach to individual based modelling may not be productive [Railsback 2001] and we propose that Time-Geographical methods can provide an effective alternative. Time-Geographical methods are unusual in their emphasis on three obvious truths: the corporeality of the human condition, that humans live in a geographical space–time that constrains their actions, and that they are purposive. TIGRESS will provide the analysis facilities, integrated within a ‘state-of-the-art’ software environment, that allow scientists within each workpackage to connect with space-time data at both an intuitive and an analytical level. It can be thought of as a specialised “data-mining” tool for spatio-temporal data produced either by direct fieldwork or from simulation models. The TiGrESS project will evaluate the usefulness of Time-Geographical methods for understanding the relationships between environmental change and social-economic driving factors. We will undertake three focussed case studies to look at problems of demographics and water resource planning (along the M11 corridor in the UK), the dynamics of the European urban network (the whole of Europe) and sustainable agriculture and land-use planning (around Madrid). The aim of the UK M11 workpackage is to support the strategic planning of water supply infrastructures through development of a spatially discretised strategic water demand and supply analysis tool capable of integrating water demand forecasting (potentially using MAB), LUCC and a water supply infrastructure optimisation tool. The main objective of European Urban Network workpackage is to develop a model to simulate the dynamics of the European urban network in response to demographic change, international and national immigration policies and spatial constraints. The objective of the Spanish land-use planning workpackage is to develop a TG land-use planning tool to be used (1) as a research tool for exploring and providing advice on land use; (2) As an educational tool for students in land planning and ecosystem management courses. planning regulations, and; (3) as a tool for the strengthening the democratisation process through making data and information available to the wider public.

Expected Outputs: • We will develop a generic tool for evaluating and analysing Time-Geographical data over a range of scales. This software tool, the TiGrESS Proof of Concept System, will be developed by the Consortium and used to receive, summarise, visualise and explore data from both simulation experiments and empirical studies. The TIGRESS system will be designed for dual use: both as a means of visualising data in real-time and for post-processing using dynamic maps and statistical summaries in an interactive environment. • We will use the TIGRESS system to undertake three case studies to produce policy-relevant information and to identify potential pathways to sustainable development through the examination of a range of relevant multi-sectoral and strategic issues affecting the study areas. • We will evaluate the impact upon individual researchers of using Time-Geographical methods to explore the dynamics of environmental change through the socio-economic drivers. Using accepted elicitation methods, a portfolio of data will be collected consisting of verbal protocols, process tracing, and pre- and post-process testing to study the development of scientists’ knowledge bases and conceptual maps. • We will publish and disseminate the results in a series of four high quality scientific monographs, one for each case study and one synthetic volume. These will be distributed to selected university libraries and other interested parties throughout Europe. Relevant regional and national government decision-makers will be involved as end-users for the results of each case-study.

Related Publications: Oxley, T., McIntosh, B.S. & Winder, N. (2003), 'Time-Geographical Approaches to Emergence and Sustainable Societies', Paper Presented at the International Framing Land-Use Dynamics (FLUD) Conference, Utrecht, Netherlands, April 2003.

Software Used: RIKS bv. Geonamica plus others to be decided.

Contact: Dr. Nick Winder (co-ordinator)


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MAS/LUCC Resource Manager: Dawn Parker