Sustainability Indicators Module

The SMARTPLANS program generates various sustainability indicators when running simulations. These indicators were finalized based on a survey that was conducted in the year 2018 to get feedback from practitioners and stakeholders across Canada. The table below lists all indicators implemented into the program:

The SMARTPLANS program utilizes data on local transportation, land use, economic and travel activity, as well as air pollution, health, and economic indicators, to evaluate which decisions and policies will maximize social and economic benefits, while simultaneously minimizing negative environmental and health impacts. As such, the main objective of introducing weight factors in calculating sustainability indicators is to identify which indicator the user values the most.

Next, the calculations of the sustainability indicators follow the approach highlighted in Maoh and Kanaroglou (2009). For each of the defined indicators x in the table above, the program calculates value vx. The program also calculates a hypothetical minimum and maximum values (i.e., vxmin and vxmax) for indicators x endogenously. These hypothetical values are based on performing two traffic assignments one for the case of the hypothetical minimum and another for the case of the hypothetical maximum. In each case, the program simulates the traffic flow of an optimal motorized trip matrix.

In the case of the hypothetical minimum, the optimal matrix is based on locating travelers as close as possible to their destinations. On the other hand, in the case of the hypothetical maximum, the matrix is based on locating travelers as far away as possible from their destinations. The optimal matrices are calculated using an optimization routine that considers the spatial distribution of the marginal totals of the original motorized trip matrix produced by the Modal Split Submodule as constrains and attempts to calculate the optimal value of the motorized trips Tij* using inter-zonal travel time cij as the cost of moving between origin zones i and destination zones j. That is, the program executed the following linear optimization program:

Subject to:

The results from simulating the flows of the optimal minimum motorized trip matrix to the network is used to calculate the vxmin values for the different x indicators. Likewise, the results from simulating the flows of the optimal maximum motorized trip matrix to the network is used to calculate the vxmax values for the different x indicators.

Next, the program uses the three generated values vx, vxmin and vxmax to calculate a normalize value nvx for each indicator x on a range between 0 and 1 as follows:

Finally, SMARTPLANS uses the specified weights wx that are associated with each indicator x to calculate an index SIσ for each sustainability pillar σ as follows:

RWCModule

Reference

Maoh, H., Kanaroglou, P., 2009. A tool for evaluating urban sustainability via integrated transportation and land use simulation models. Environ. Urbain Urban Environ