Environment Explorer

The Environment Explorer (LOV) is a spatial, dynamic model, in which land use and the effects on social, economic and ecological indicators are modeled in an integrated way. Its primary goal is to explore future developments, combining autonomous developments with alternative policy options, in relation to the quality of the environment in which inhabitants of the Netherlands live, work and recreate. Various policy options from governmental departments are translated into a spatial, dynamic image of the Netherlands future with respect to issues such as: economic activity, employment, social well-being, transportation and accessibility, and the natural environment. The Environment Explorer is characterized by three scale levels:

LUMOS environment explorer

  1. National: the model combines national economic,demographic and environmental growth scenarios and passes them onto the regional level.
  2. Regional: the Environment Explorer models the location of new activities as a result of national and regional growth and determines the relocation of activities and people within the 40 administrative regions of the country (so-called COROP-regions). The resulting regional developments can be limited to a minimum and maximum level per region or set to a fixed value.
  3. Local: the Netherlands are represented on a grid composed of cells, in which each cell represents land use for a parcel of land of 500 x 500 m. A Constraint Cellular Automata model carries out the dynamic allocation of the regional claims for space. At the local level, global information about the availability and quality of land for further expansion isreturned to the COROP and national levels,thus influencing the dynamics between these levels.

The BabyLOVsoftware is a cellular-automaton based, dynamic land use simulationmodel of the Green Heart region of The Netherlands.

In this model longterm land use demands are entered as scenarios. The resulting land use patterns reflect attraction and repulsion effects among the various land uses, as well as underlying suitabilities, zoning and land use regulations, and differences in accessibility to the transportation network.

The model permits a wide variety of  “what if” experiments to be performed, since land use demands, suitabilities, zoning, both the transport network itself as well as accessibility parameters, and even the CA transition rules themselves, can all be modified. In addition, a number of indicators are calculated and displayed as maps or tables in order to facilitate evaluation of the results. The BabyLOV software, a simplified version of the Environment Explorer, is easy to work with.

The model was developed in close cooperation between the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the Research Institute for Knowledge Systems (RIKS), where more information can be found.

BabyLOV Software and Documentation  5726 Kb

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