Institute for Resource Management
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SIMKAS 3D: Avoidance of cascade effects in water, electricity, heat, and gas infrastructures using the example of Berlin

Berlin Infrastructure: better crisis management through simulation of crisis scenarios

Simkas „Simulation von intersektoriellen Kaskadeneffekten bei Ausfällen von Versorgungsinfrastrukturen unter Verwendung des virtuellen 3D-Stadtmodells von Berlin“

Supply infrastructures are linked together in a multitude of ways. Some interconnections only become apparent through unexpected crises. The SIMKAS 3D project, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), investigates how crisis events proceed through cascade effects in the infrastructure systems. inter 3, together with Berlin’s supply companies and further project partners, is creating scenarios for possible disturbances to Berlin’s infrastructure systems through such cascade effects, and is developing strategies for better crisis management.

Creating scenarios, identifying hazards, improving crisis management

Possible routes for the spreading of disruptions – so-called cascade effects – through electricity, gas, heat and water supply lines as well as wastewater disposal lines are investigated. The created scenarios serve as a basis for improved cross-sector crisis management in cooperation with all service operators.

Approach: Virtual simulation and actual prevention of crises

To begin with, the various infrastructure systems are analysed. Subsequently, under the direction of inter 3, scenarios for initial events and their possible spreading routes are created and simulated. The starting point for a crisis scenario could, for example, be a terrorist attack or an environmental disaster. For each event, all relevant system elements must be identified and the successive impacts of the event investigated. Realistic images showing the progression of the developed scenario are displayed graphically in a 3D city model of Berlin using specially developed software. The simulator and the scenarios are put to the test in cooperation with all participating infrastructure operators.

Results: Practical benefit to companies and inhabitants of Berlin

SIMKAS 3D provides an effective tool which can contribute to the sustainable improvement of Berlin’s supply infrastructure crisis management. The infrastructure operators are given a decision making and communications platform to help prepare them better for a crisis event.

Project name:
SIMKAS 3D: "Simulation of intersectorial cascade effects through breakdowns in supply infrastructures using a virtual 3D city model of Berlin"


Dr. Susanne Schön
Tel.: + 49(0)30 34 34 74 52
Dipl. Pol. Axel Dierich
Tel.: + 49(0)30 34 34 74 49

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the programme "Research for civilian security"

Practice partners:
Berliner Wasserbetriebe Vattenfall NBB Netzgesellschaft Berlin-Brandenburg Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) Senate Department for Urban Development Senate Department for the Interior and Sport

Science partners:
Centre for Technology and Society at the Technische Universität Berlin (ZTG, System Analysis and project coordination) Department for Geodesy and Geoinformation Science at the Technische Universität Berlin(3D-modelling) DHI WASY(software development)

Location: Berlin

Duration: 2009 – 2012