LPI’s Graebert on new pilot project at the MSU Innovations in Collaborative Modeling Conference

posted on June 19, 2015 11:23am

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Mary Beth Graebert, associate director of the Land Policy Institute. (view larger image) Mary Beth Graebert, associate director of the Land Policy Institute.

n June 4, 2015, Mary Beth Graebert, associate director of the Land Policy Institute, presented preliminary results from a study LPI is conducting with Dr. Mohamed El-Gafy, Associate Professor in Construction Management in the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction, to participants at the Innovations in Collaborative Modeling Conference. This conference was jointly organized by the Sustainable Michigan Endowed Project (SMEP), the Environmental Science & Policy Program (ESPP), and University Outreach and Engagement (UOE) at MSU.

This conference featured presentations, demonstrations, and posters pertaining to the use of a variety of quantitative systems modeling techniques to tackle social and environmental problems related to (but not limited to) food systems, natural systems, wildlife management, water, health, transportation and education. Quantitative systems modeling consists of a variety of techniques that represent the behavior of complex systems mathematically using computer simulation software. Such modeling can help to clarify the often puzzling dynamics of complex systems, leading to more effective problem solving efforts.

At this event, Graebert presented on Integrated Asset Management: Dealing with Neglected Infrastructure and Vacant Properties in Legacy Cities. The LPI study is a pilot project to determine the feasibility of an integrated asset management system that simultaneously assesses land use conditions, such as property vacancy, and conditions of underground water infrastructure. This project presents an innovative approach to assist water system providers and local land policy planners in legacy cities with integrated water infrastructure and land use planning that is more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. Objectives of this approach include:

  • Assessing the condition of existing water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure in neighborhoods with large or growing abandonment, as well as the physical and socio-economic characteristics of those areas, using Saginaw, MI, as a case study;
  • Creating a pilot integrated model that helps identify opportunities for more sustainable infrastructure and land use planning based on infrastructure condition and practical service considerations; and
  • Evaluating the impact of integrated planning alternatives, quantitatively from an economic standpoint, and qualitatively from a social and environmental standpoint. Infrastructure alternatives include best technologies for repairing, decommissioning and repurposing. Land use alternatives include options for repurposing vacant lands for short-, medium- or long-term use, and incorporating sustainable considerations (e.g., new urban parks, stormwater retention).

This pilot project will lay the foundation for additional analysis, tool development and outreach that will help cities to address a variety of issues related to the legacy of unsustainable infrastructure systems. This approach is desperately needed in legacy cities, but can also be beneficial in any city experiencing infrastructure and land use challenges. This work is funded by the MSU Institute for Public Policy and Social Research’s Michigan Applied Public Policy Research program.

Download the presentation at Integrated Asset Management.

For more information, contact Mary Beth Graebert .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call at (517) 355-3378.