CHICAGO — Chicago Lakeside Development has joined in a collaborative initiative led by the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, to design LakeSim — an urban planning simulation tool to optimize planning and infrastructure investments in large-scale, master planned developments. "Lakeside is a great chance for Chicago to reset the paradigm for infrastructure and real estate development," said Ed Woodbury, president of Lakeside’s managing member, McCaffery Interests.

Chicago Lakeside, a 600-acre development on Chicago’s southeast lakefront, is expected eventually to be home to more than 50,000 people and millions of square feet of retail, commercial, and public space. The development aims to establish a neighborhood that becomes an innovative global model for approaching advanced energy, water management, waste, and information communication technology in the 21st century. Urban planning and infrastructure on such a massive scale requires powerful new analytic tools to simulate different scenarios for energy, waste, and water management. To address this need the initiative will develop a new platform, the Lakeside Sustainable Infrastructure Model, LakeSim.


"The need to deliver sustainable and financially viable urban plans requires science-based design, bringing the power of computational models to city design," said Charlie Catlett, director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data and co-investigator on the LakeSim project.

LakeSim will be a framework connecting urban design tools with scientific computer models to create detailed simulations relevant to large-scale development. Instead of separate models for different pieces of the infrastructure, such as water management or energy supply, LakeSim will allow real estate, energy, and water developers to predict how those systems interact with each other over time horizons and under various growth scenarios. The framework will also simulate how different infrastructure designs influence the environment, business, and other spheres at Chicago Lakeside over time.

"The scale of the site gives Lakeside almost limitless variables and limitless opportunities," continued Woodbury. "LakeSim will allow us to quickly model different development scenarios and intelligently implement the next generation infrastructure we have envisioned."

Beyond Chicago Lakeside, the researchers intend that the LakeSim framework will be useful for other large-scale developments elsewhere in the U.S. and around the globe. The applications will be an advantage in solving the challenges of growth in say New York, Colorado, Texas, Beijing, or Bangalore. In urbanizing regions and countries, LakeSim will be useful in solving the complex formula surrounding the integration of the often independent but interdependent systems of energy, water, transportation, and information communication technology.

"With the Lakeside site, we’re thrilled to be applying our scientific and technical capabilities on a project that will impact Chicago and the greater region," said Leah Guzowski, energy policy scientist at Argonne and LakeSim co-investigator. "On a broader level, better and deeper knowledge of how cities are planned and operated will have tremendous economic and environmental implications given the rise of global urbanism and the pace at which it is occurring."

Chicago Lakeside Development is a joint venture between U.S. Steel Corporation and McCaffery Interests, Inc. Chicago Lakeside Development is a global initiative for innovative living, with a strong focus on sustainable land development and community involvement. The development itself is a master-planned, nearly 600-acre mixed-use community located on the former U.S. Steel South Works site on the southeast lakefront in Chicago. Upon completion, Chicago Lakeside will be one of the largest public-private partnerships in the history of the city.

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