Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2020IL216B

A Coupled Urban Spatial Simulation and Stormwater Runoff Model and its Implications for Physical Design: The Case of Chicago

Institute: Illinois
Year Established: 2020 Start Date: 2020-03-01 End Date: 2021-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $10,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $20,000

Principal Investigators: Dr. Brian Deal

Abstract: The goal of this proposed research is to develop a framework that bridges the gapbetween scientific knowledge (hydrologic engineering) that quantitatively simulates stormwaterrunoff and the design practices that visually implicate the built environment. We claim thatthese gaps should be filled by cross-disciplinary approaches in a bid to guide urban systemstoward more resilient outcomes. To do this, we will utilize an existing coupled model systemthat closely couples the Gridded Surface Subsurface Hydrologic Analysis (GSSHA) with theLand-use Evaluation and Impact Assessment Model (LEAM). The modeling system has beendeveloped by the LEAM laboratory to spatially and quantifiably forecast runoff in Chicago inresponse to various growth scenarios. Second, we will examine the relationship between runoffand design factors to identify the salient factors of influence that are most applicable tolandscape design practices. Specifically, the combination of a boosted regression tree andpiecewise linear regression will be used to identify the rank importance of design factors andestablish their thresholds. Third, we will test the framework in practice by infusing the modelingsystem in a cross-disciplinary design studio environment by infusing the spatial simulationresults and statistical relationship outcomes with the design process. The proposed research willpromote cross-disciplinary research in areas ranging from hydrologic/land-use modeling tourban/landscape design. Ultimately, it will lead the design discipline toward analytic approachesfor resilience issues. Lastly, we expect the results of our proposed research to benefit the wellbeingof communities in Illinois by potentially decreasing runoff vulnerability.