Abstract for: Managing Urban Sustainability in a Cooperative Interactive Learning Environment

Contributing to the debate on how facing the challenge of managing limited resources sustainably, this paper focuses on urban sustainability. By reproducing in a Stella environment a simulated city, this paper specifically aims to: 1. investigate and discuss how strategically relevant resources can be identified, formally represented and managed in a simulated urban environment, in this case, a System Dynamics (SD) model; 2. test the SD simulation model in the form of an Interactive Learning Environment (ILE) and with specific scenarios, in order to sustain knowledge acquisition and awareness on how we can achieve sustainable urban management and a balanced societal metabolism while taking into account formal decision-making. Two streams of research are used as the main theoretical references, since the paper builds first on the concept of “urban metabolism” and, second, on that of “anticipatory governance”. The SD model portraying the urban environment under analysis considers several sectors to be administrated (i.e., urban planning, energy, transport, water management, waste management, and investment decisions). The SD model is subsequently transformed into an ILE used to explore the effects of managerial decisions. The focus of the SD-based ILE is mainly an educational one being played with students of Higher Education institutions.