Integrated modelling, Environmental simulations & assessment


Environmental Assessment and Footprinting

Within the environmental assessment GLAMURS seeks to provide insights into which lifestyles are more or less sustainable from a multi-dimensional resource and environment perspective and into which lifestyle changes would contribute significantly to achieving the EU’s sustainability targets. GLAMURS evaluates how changes in technology and alternative economic system arrangements following the implementation of climate, resource efficiency and green economy policies would affect the environmental sustainability of different lifestyles and the necessity and efficacy of lifestyle change for achieving sustainability objectives.

The model developed will be used together with information on consumption patterns and lifestyle factors to model the environmental impacts (or footprints) of different lifestyles. The results[Link: to the GLAMURS website presenting the footprint reports] will be analyzed using statistical methods, advanced contribution analysis and structural path analysis to identify important variables driving the results. In the process and based on this experience, an environmental footprinting tool specifically for sustainable lifestyle initiatives will be produced and made accessible.

Integrated modelling

Different scenarios of lifestyle changes, alternative economic approaches and sustainable transitions are evaluated by micro- and macro-economic modelling towards opportunities of relevant policy tracks and governance designs in transitions. Therefore a coherent conceptual framework of individual behaviour is developed using insights from WP3 (psychological approaches) that is feasible to simulate and scale up micro-models to account for interactions between agents: individuals, government and firms within a macro-modelling framework. Therewith it is possible to evaluate several scenarios to meet the long-term EU’s sustainability targets through various combinations of changes in lifestyles and greening of the economies (technology and economic structure).

Micro-economic modelling 

In the course of the micro-economic modelling models of individual behaviour governing lifestyle choice (replication of lifestyle choice within the population) are developed. Thereby, it is sought to identify superior models in describing internal drivers most important in influencing lifestyle choice. Together, internal and external drivers make up the ‘frame’ in which decisions take place and interaction effects among multiple individuals become components of the situational vector facing any single decision-maker.

Macro-economic modelling 

The macro-economic modelling aimsat using tools from growth theory and ecological economics to aggregate effects on micro and meso level to the macro-economic level, for studying interactions and for a focus on the dynamics.In detail this implies selecting useful mechanisms from the micro-economic modellingand promising initiatives from the Case Studiesfor the macro-economic policy modelling. The models will be then calibrated using the quantitative information from the psychological theory and Case Study work, as well as run towards an evaluation of policies.

Agent Based Modelling (ABM)

Based on the work of the micro- and macro-economic modelling and the case-study research iterative Agent Based Models are designed. This implies to develop a micro-world for the agents to inhabit and interact using the ontology in WP2 as a basis, the processing of qualitative and quantitative case study data to create models of behaviour and interaction, and interpreting scenarios from case studies into driving variables for the models. Lifestyle choices and economic activities of the agents can be given an indicative environmental impact through the work in WP7.

Furthermore, for the Scottish Case Study region the impact of three scenarios/measures towards commuting on the categories such as travel time, travel time predictability and CO2 emission is simulated by ABM.

Jaqi ABM pic

Upscaling regional sustainability

The three methodological modelling approaches – micro-, macro-economic and agent-based modelling – bring specific strengths to meeting the objective of developing a comprehensive framework of lifestyle choice, dynamics, and interactions. Combining these will enable the development of models that describe feasible transitions to sustainable lifestyles and a green economy at individual, community and large societal levels.Through modelling and evaluating the linkage between policies and the GLAMURS research,specific attention to the impact on political ideas and democratic systems by such novel governance interventions is paid. This task relates to local policy initiatives and governance structures and those mechanisms that can be potentially implemented to encourage adoption of sustainable lifestyles.