Delft, 18 Sep 2013

Arlex Sanchez Torres successfully defended his PhD thesis

On the 18th of September 2013, Mr. Arlex Sanchez Torres successfully presented and defended his PhD thesis and was awarded with a Doctoral degree. Professor Arthur Mynett was his promotor and Dr. Zoran Vojinovic his co-promotor.

PhD research focused on Modelling the future water infrastructure of cities

More than half the world population is living in urban areas and this is likely to increase over the coming decades. As a consequence, many cities around the world are facing considerable pressure to cope with urban development, sustaining economic growth and providing basic living conditions. In many parts of the world, urban infrastructure is aging. Other parts experience largely uncontrolled urbanization which leads to considerable pressure on economic resources. Hence there is a clear need for integrated tools and methodologies that can help identify necessary investments and improve the effectiveness of interventions in urban water systems.
Urban development can be considered a complex non-linear dynamical system exhibiting characteristics of emergence, self-similarity and self-organization. The concept of agent-based modelling is explored in this thesis to represent urban evolution and associated changes in environmental conditions. Cellular Automata (CA) are used to develop scenarios for potential future urban expansion and identify the implications for required water distribution and drainage networks. By integrating agent-based concepts with physically based hydraulic models of water networks in a Geographical Information System (GIS) framework, the interaction between temporal–spatial variables as well as between agents and their environment can be assessed. The result is a new approach to urban water infrastructure planning that can help water companies and municipalities to improve the effectiveness and environmental efficiency of their investments.


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