An extension of Forrester’s ‘Urban Dynamics’ model for coastal cities

We extend the seminal ‘Urban Dynamics’ model initially developed by Jay W. Forrester the founder of system dynamics1 with a goal to describe urban adaptation to climate-related coastal hazards. Currently, we focus on ,business-as-usual’ (BaU) scenario when no adaptation actions are taken. Under BaU, sea level rise and related coastal hazards caused by global warming can lead to a gradual reduction of city area and severe damages to urban infrastructure.

The original Forrester’s simulations that do not take into account damages from coastal hazards tell us the narrative of the city reaching an equilibrium after the transitional period of its history. Our simulations with the extended model tell us a very different story of urban decline under BaU when damages from coastal hazards emerge and start increasing after the city has reached the equilibrium.

How can a city respond to the challenge of adaptation, beyond BaU? The further modelling work within MUCCCS is aimed at addressing this question.