Table of Contents

Overview toparrow

  • Project Title: UrbanBEATS – a virtual urban water system tool for planning urban water futures
  • Type: Integrated Modelling
  • Ongoing: Yes
  • Project Website:

The Urban Biophysical Environments and Technologies Simulator (UrbanBEATS) is a planning-support model for exploring sustainable urban water strategies in urban precincts and has been under development since its birth in late 2012. This integrated model combines geospatial information with urban planning and water systems modelling. Users can use UrbanBEATS to conduct exploratory modelling of different water infrastructure and/or policy scenarios for urban catchments/precinct and use the outputs to better understand how key water management objectives (e.g. runoff reduction, pollution management, potable water substitution through water recycling) can be achieved.

UrbanBEATS Model Structure

UrbanBEATS is undergoing continual development and application including its testing within and outside of Australia. Stay updated by visiting the model’s website.

Key Features of the UrbanBEATS Model

There are an abundance of possibilities that one can undertake with the UrbanBEATS planning-support model. Key features include:

  • Conceptualisation of urban form characteristics including impervious surface covers and composition, neighbourhood characteristics and demographics
  • Identification of urban catchment layout and possible subdivisions for planning urban water management strategies
  • Spatial modelling of water consumption and sub-daily downscaling for water supply management
  • Generation of layouts and implementation strategies for an array of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) technologies to meet multiple objectives (e.g. pollution, runoff, water harvesting)
  • Propagation of model outputs to state-of-the-art models including EPANET2 and MUSIC
  • Assessment of impact of urban form and water management on local microclimate
  • Assessment of how rainwater/stormwater harvesting and water end use policies can impact operation of existing water distribution networks

Project Team toparrow

The full development team and list of contributors can be found over at UrbanBEATS’ main website.

Funding Details & Awardstoparrow

A number of present and past projects have funded the development, extension and/or application of UrbanBEATS including:

  • ARC Linkage Projects 2016 – see our Future Water Project Page
  • ARC DECRA Projects 2017 – refer to the VRWater Project Page
  • PREPARED EU FP7 Project (a large EU-funded project) – more details
  • Part of the development was funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
  • Monash University, Faculty of Engineering SEED Funding Scheme 2015

Research on various projects that led to the development and improvement of UrbanBEATS has also been recognised through the following:

  • 2015 – The Eric Laurenson Medal, awarded by the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities and Monash University
  • 2014 – Runner up for the Poul Harremoes award at the 13th International Conference on Urban Drainage, Sarawak, Malaysia

Contact Details toparrow

Interested in the project? Visit the UrbanBEATS website for more details or contact: