Welcome to the CREATE – IISC Program

The introduction of disruptive forces and major policies and regulatory instruments, including those related to emerging transportation technologies, is forecast to bring a trans-formative wave of urban reform. Electric, autonomous, and shared vehicles, for instance, are expected to result in a reduction of parking demand that will result in unprecedented opportunities for reclaimed inner-city space for urban densification. The anticipated increase in mobility and accessibility, however, may induce further urban sprawl. These changes in urban form will impact supporting infrastructure, including building, water, energy, and waste systems. This in turn, will impact sustainability indicators of our cities, including their ecological footprints, air and water quality, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

To complicate matters further, individual urban infrastructure systems are becoming increasingly interdependent so that any the impact on one will be felt by the others. For example, modifications to the transport network may impact storm water quality and the receiving water bodies either negatively or positively. Although it is inherently difficult to isolate and seek solutions to problems with individual infrastructure systems, existing academic programs are geared towards training infrastructure engineers to achieve exactly this outcome. 

Due to the complex interactions between infrastructure components, emerging changes cannot be handled with existing planning and implementation tools, which are devised for each individual component. There is an urgent need to train a new group of highly qualified professionals (HQPs) who can respond to this paradigm shift.

The NSERC-CREATE-IISC training program responds to this need. We plan to apply holistic approaches to urban infrastructure planning, analysis, operation, and management. Our approaches are centered on the principle that considerable efficiency and sustainability benefits can be accrued over the life cycle of individual infrastructure by understanding and optimizing their interactions and interfaces. Unlike traditional silo-based research that focuses on one infrastructure element at a time, IISC research projects will consider two or more infrastructure elements simultaneously. Transportation, air/water quality, and waste, will be viewed in conjunction with one an other. This integrated approach require trainees to gain expertise in: system analysis and policy (system dynamics, policy analysis, system of systems modelling), mathematical analysis (network modeling, mathematical/simulation modeling, scenario analysis, uncertainty and risk analysis, optimization and multi-criteria optimization), environmental analysis (input/output, GHG emissions modeling, water/waste impacts, life cycle assessment/costing and social life cycle assessment), and data analytics (machine learning, agent based modeling, big data analytics, visualization and predictive analytics). 


NSERC-CREATE-IISC Research Approach

Engage decision makers to inform the thinking of IISC trainees to identify disruptive forces. Describe the possible cascade of impacts and identify key metrics Project future scenarios and identify those that are more desirable.
Build modeling and analysis tools to create a system-of-systems (SOS) model. Build a multilayered network model to represent nodes, links, capacities and flows. Develop an inter-dependency matrix to represent the: -physical, cyber, functional and geographic/spatial inter-dependency.
Quantify the techno-economic, environmental and social dimensions. Modelling the impacts of future scenarios. Insights from this Theme will help: - Identify the needs for innovative designs, processes or technologies. Inform policies and investment decisions.
Examples of possible innovations : Design- Urban designs for better use of parking/garage -Processes: New processes for managing urban storm water systems impacted by climate change, or for handling urban waste in denser communities. -Technologies, software and hardware: New technologies to recover resources from construction and household waste, -New Software and hardware that can be deployed on vehicles to enable the collection of road taxes lost (i.e. gas tax), New software and hardware (e.g. IoT) to best utilize electricity supply/demand, -Communication: Computer simulation and visualization tools to analyze big data and engage the public and decision makers -Feedback to Themes 1, 2 and 3 for re-evaluation.
Communicate the potential impacts through engagement with decision makers and the general public. Identify alternatives policy/regulations and investment options Feedback to Themes 1, 2 and 3 for re-evaluation of novel policies and strategies.