The Project is funded by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme ([FP7/2007-2013] - ICT call 10 Objective ICT.2013.5.4 ICT for Governance and Policy Modeling) under grant agreement n° 611307.

Start Date: 
Tuesday, 1 October 2013 to Friday, 30 September 2016
Innovative Policy Modelling and Governance Tools for Sustainable Post-Crisis Urban Development

INSIGHT (Innovative Policy Modelling and Governance Tools for Sustainable Post-Crisis Urban Development) is a research project funded under the ICT Theme of the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme. INSIGHT aims to investigate how ICT, with particular focus on data science and complexity theory, can help European cities formulate and evaluate policies to stimulate a balanced economic recovery and a sustainable urban development. The project is conducted by a Consortium composed by the Technical University of Madrid (Project Coordinator), Nommon Solutions and Technologies, the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at University College London, the Technical University of Eindhoven, and the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems (IFISC) at the University of the Balearic Islands, and the Barcelona City Council. The project started on 1 October 2013 and lasted for 36 months.


Cities embody the twofold challenge currently facing the European Union: how to improve competitiveness while achieving social cohesion and environmental sustainability. They are fertile ground for science and technology, innovation and cultural activity, but also places where problems such as environmental pollution, unemployment, segregation and poverty are concentrated. Complex problems like these require a holistic approach to urban development, together with an assessment of urban policies in terms of a comprehensive set of economic, social, and environmental sustainability indicators.

The objectives of the project are as follows:

  1. to investigate how data from multiple distributed sources available in the context of the open data, the big data and the smart city movements, can be managed, analysed and visualised to understand urban development patterns;
  2. to apply these data mining functionalities to characterise the drivers of the spatial distribution of activities in European cities, focusing on the retail, housing, and public services sectors, and paying special attention to the impact of the current economic crisis;
  3. to develop enhanced spatial interaction and location models for retail, housing, and public services;
  4. to integrate the new theoretical models into state-of-the-art simulation tools, in order to develop enhanced decision support systems able to provide scientific evidence in support of policy options for post-crisis urban development;
  5. to develop innovative visualisation tools to enable stakeholder interaction with the new urban simulation and decision support tools and facilitate the analysis and interpretation of the simulation outcomes;
  6. to develop methodological procedures for the use of the tools in policy design processes, and evaluate and demonstrate the capabilities of the tools through four case studies carried out in cooperation with the cities of Barcelona, Madrid, London, and Rotterdam.

Further information is available at: