Modeling sustainability in complex urban transportation systems
Azevedo, Kyle Kellogg
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This thesis proposes a framework to design and analyze sustainability within complex urban transportation systems. Urban transit systems have large variability in temporal and spatial resolution, and are common in lifecycle analyses and sustainability studies. Unlike analyses with smaller scope or broader resolution, these systems are composed of numerous interacting layers, each intricate enough to be a complete system on its own. In addition, detailed interaction with the system environment is often not accounted for in lifecycle studies, despite its strong potential effects on the problem domain. To manage such complexity, this thesis suggests a methodology that focuses on integrating existing modeling constructs in a transparent manner, and capturing structural and functional relationships for efficient model reuse. The Systems Modeling Language (OMG SysML ) is used to formally implement the modeling framework. To demonstrate the method, it is applied to a large scale multi-modal transportation network. Analysis of key network parameters such as emissions output, well-to-wheel energy use, and system capacity are presented in a case study of the Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan area. Results of the case study highlight several areas that differ from more traditional lifecycle analysis research. External influences such as regional electricity generation are found to have extremely large effects on environmental impact of a regional mobility system. The model is used to evaluate various future scenarios and finds that existing policy measures for curbing energy use and emissions are insufficient for reducing impact in a growing urban region.