Evan Barba, Robin Dillon-Merrill, Uwe Brandes, and Peter P.Marra
We describe a conceptual framework for deploying agent-based models (ABMs) as a tool for decision-making during resilience planning, with an emphasis on flood mitigation. Prior work has demonstrated that ABMs can be effective tools for modelling evolving community flood resilience and risk perception when they incorporate elements of individual decision-making. We argue for extending this methodology and incorporating it into regional infrastructure and resilience planning in order to: 1.) create more distributed and robust green infrastructure implementations and performance management systems; 2.) provide a critique and alternative to existing planning and delivery processes based on public sector jurisdictional boundaries; and, 3.) validate and improve the modelling process by connecting it directly to stakeholder decision-making processes. This final point will effectively merge these systems-centric modelling approaches with grassroots organizing that employs various co-design methods, which serve multiple purposes. In regard to the ABMs, co-design methods can be a useful source for real-world data about individual decision-making that can inform and validate iterations of the models. For stakeholders, they can be a valuable source of information and education about flood risk and climate-related impacts that might not be available through other channels. And, finally, hands-on workshops coupled with potential small implementation grants can be effective ways of providing skills and incentives to stakeholders who may wish to undertake projects on their own property, reshaping the way green infrastructure planning and implementation can be accomplished.
Keywords: systemic design, boundary critique, resilience, flooding, recursive design, agent-based models