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Participatory modelling for the integrated sustainability assessment of water: The World Cellular Model and the MATISSE project

  • J. David Tabara (Dr)
  • Patrik Wallman
  • Bodil Elmqvist (Ph D)
  • Akgün Ilhan
  • Cristina Madrid
  • Lennart Olsson (Professor)
  • Michel Schilperoord
  • Pieter Valkering
  • Paul Weaver
  • Jill Jäger
  • Paul Weaver
Publiceringsår: 2007
Språk: Engelska
Dokumenttyp: Working paper
Förlag: MATISSE project


This paper describes the participatory process of developing and implementing a prototype model
aimed at supporting the Integrated Sustainability Assessment of water resources and policy options at
different scales. The model - called the World Cellular Model (WCM) focuses on the representation
of agents’ behaviours and their systemic relationships with their environment. This is achieved by
examining the interests, motives, cultural beliefs and structural resources that drive agents’ actions
with regard to the use of stocks and flows of water, by looking at the impact of such water behaviours
on the environment and on the natural ecosystems at different scales, and by examining in a
coevolutionary way the impact of such environmental changes on the behaviours of agents. The WC
model takes a ‘total system’, multi-scale, agent perspective. That is, agents operate in a single
interrelated system in which each individual or collective agent responds to the availability and use of
a set of stocks and flows of rules and/or institutions (S), energy and resources (E), information and
knowledge (I) that in turn provokes environmental change (C) or impact on the social ecological
system. . This model is being developed together with the use of participatory Integrated Assessment
focus groups (IA-fgs) with real stakeholders to get insights about agents’ behaviours and the possible
architecture of the model so as to increase its socio-ecological robustness and policy relevance. Our
research is part of the EU funded project Matisse (Methods and Tools for Integrated Sustainability



  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • Integrated Sustainability Assessment
  • water modelling
  • participation.


  • 6th European framework programme

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