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CITiES (Calibration and valIdation of Transport – land usE ModelS) is a reseach project funded by the French Research Funding Agency (ANR). It is associated to its program “Numerical Model”. CITiES project is about land use and transport modelling. The project has started the 1st January 2013, and will end the 31th June 2016 (duration : 42 months).

The grants amounts totales around 980 000 €.


CITiES project aims to foster the use of LUTI models for the design and evaluation of land use and transport policies by addressing two impediments.

(a) To define a calibration methodology and developing relevant and efficient algorithms to facilitate the parameter estimation of LUTI models;

(b) To define a validation methodology, in both the historical and urban economics senses, and developing the related algorithms.

In both cases, analyzing the uncertainty that may arise from either the data or the underlying equations, quantifying how these uncertainties propagate in the model, and performing sensitivity analysis to determine the relevance of the various data and model parameters are of major importance. Completing these various tasks would make LUTI models easier to implement, and greatly enhance the confidence in their results.

Three LUTI models will serve as sample to test the methodologies that will be developed in the CITiES project: Tranus, UrbanSim, and Pirandello. They are quite representative of LUTI models, with two equilibrium models and one microsimulation model. Tranus and UrbanSim are Open Source and also the most largely applied models worldwide, while Pirandello is the only operating model developed in France. The study areas are the Grenoble region for Tranus, the Lyon region for UrbanSim and the Paris region for Pirandello, which offer different local contexts.

The consortium also intends to support the dissemination of LUTI models and CITiES results through significant interactions with policy-makers and end users, in the form of workshops and information meetings.

To successfully carry out the CITiES project, the consortium can draw on two main strengths:

  • its unique panel of experts in urban modelling, urban planning, mathematics and computer science, which is to be the cornerstone of the development of innovative tools for the calibration and the management of uncertainties in LUTI models;
  • the significant experience of most partners with LUTI modelling.

The partnership with the urban planning agencies IAU îdF and the AURG will also prove extremely fruitful, considering both the data issues and the firm intent to interact with end users.