stato dell'arte, analisi metodologica e direttrici di ricerca futura

Research report (Italian)

Planning studies centre - 1989


italian version



A research programme (acronym: ‘Mo-Global') entrusted to the Planning Studies Centre by the Italian Ministry of Environment in 1989, after just having finished the famous Bruntland Report of the ‘Commission for the Environment and Development of the United Nations'. On the eve of a regional sequel (for Europe) based on a Conference (Bergen, Norway, 8-16 May 1989) which was organised in cooperation of the Norwegian Government with the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations.

The Italian Minister of the Environment (Sir Giorgio Ruffolo) welcomed the suggestion to proceed to a study on the state-of-the-art in regard to the design applied to the whole development of the planet Earth. The project was to collect all the most important ‘global models' of the world which have been elaborated up to this epoch, to re-discuss the methodologies, the organisation and the approaches in the face of a more intense cooperation and coordination at the ONU head quarters of technology of the global models.

The Planning Studies Centre – originator of the proposal – entrusts the direction of the undertaking to one of their most reliable scholars of the matter and his associate, Professor Roberto Vacca, who puts together a study Group consisting of Valerio Franchina, Riccardo La Pera, Roberto Nenzi and Carlo Sessa. The Director of the Planning Studies Centre, Franco Archibugi, contributes as a proofreader and annotator of the final Report.

In 1990, the study Group ended its work and the Planning Studies Centre submitted it to the Ministry of the Environment, hoping - in a big national as well as international discussion - on the development of the work and on its publication on behalf of the Ministry, the owner pf the rights of the research. After several promises, the interest for the research fades and the Centre can only re-propose the publication of the Centre's research Report a couple of years later (the global development models etc.). The most part of the contents of the research are still valid, also because in the last ten years there have not been produced many novelties and new models. Only the role of the United Nationes in promoting the development of technology and of the foresights to a planetary scale has blurred, after the furst and last attempts that have been carried out under the guidance of Jan Tinbergen as President of the Committee of Development Planning, and the Progetto RIO (Reshaping International Order) which the same Tinbergen (first Nobel Prize of Economy in 1969, together with Ragnar Frisch) tried to launch between the years 1973 and 1976, together with many other scholars of the international association.

You can have a look at the above indicated index of the Mo-Global research of the Planning Studies Centre enclosed to the poster of the research publication, and hereupon following, the introduction to the research Mo-Global, of which the finality and results can be deducted.



I. Introduction
1.1 Why the first global models were built in 1970
1.2 Definitions and structure of global models
1.3 Plan of the present review of global models
II. Availability, quality and disaggregation of the data

1.1 Models based on the theory of dynamic systems and on the one of multi-
level hierarchical systems
1.1.1 Models based on the theory of dynamic systems
1.1.2 Models based on the theory of multi-level hierarchical systems
1.2 Probabilistic models
1.3 Input/Output models
1.4 Scenarios
1.5 Climatic models
1.6 Models based on Volterra equations
1.7 Comparisons and criticisms

2.1 Forrester-Meadows ('Limits of Growth')
2.2 Mesarovic-Pestel model
2.3 MOIRA model (Linneman)
2.3.1 Model description
2.3.2 Model results
2.3.3 Comments on and criticism of the model
2.3.4 Follow-up
2.4 The model of the Bariloche Foundation
2.4.1 Model description
2.4.2 Model results
2.4.3 Comments on and criticism of the model
2.4.4 Follow-up
2.5 United Nations (Leontief) model
2.6 Global 2000 - Report to President Carter
2.7 SARUM (University of Sussex model)
2.7.1 Genesis and the construction of the model
2.7.2 Nature and composition of the model
2.7.3 Model functioning
2.7.4 Development and reactions
2.8 Inter-futures
2.8.1 The project
2.8.2 The scenarios
2.8.3 Confrontation with reality
2.9 FUGI model (Kaya and Onishi)
2.9.1 Model description
2.9.2 Model results
2.9.3 Comments on and criticism of the model
2.9.4 Current situation
2.10 UNITAD model
2.11 IIASA study on the future environment of Europe
2.12 GLUBUS (Bremer)
2.13 Logistic substitution models
2.14 The economic model of IIASA and University of Bonn
2.14.1 The theoretical bases of the IIASA-Bonn study
2.14.2 Model description
2.14.3 Empirical results and course determination
2.14.4 Criticism of the model


3.1 Reactions to the global models of Forrester and Meadows
3.1.0 General
3.1.1 Criticisms of the model
3.1.2 Optimisation of the model
3.1.3 Simplification of the model
3.1.4 Conclusions
3.2 Use of electronic computers to simulate global development models
3.2.1 Basic concepts
3.2.2 The use of analogue simulators for global development models
3.2.3 The use of digital computers
3.2.4 General methods to solve systems of integro-differential equations
3.2.5 Translation languages
3.2.6 Methods for employing computation systems
3.2.7 The limits of present technology
3.2.8 Possibilities in the near future, based on procedural methods
3.2.9 Possibilities based on non-procedural or Artificial Intelligence (Al)
3.2.10 Summarizing observations
3.3 Planning as an input to global models
3.3.1 The systemic problem
3.3.2 Territorial planning and global models
3.4 Theories, listings, printouts and discursive texts: the problem of
3.5 Prescriptions for future global models
3.5.1 Determinism or indeterminism?
3.5.2 Benchmarking
3.5.3 Mathematical validation
3.5.4 Revision and rework of models
3.6 Logistic curves: construction, fit and uniqueness
3.6.1 Problem definition
3.6.2 Experimental determination of the parameters of logistic equation
3.6.3 Method of assessment directed to the asymptote
3.6.4 Analytical determination of the logistic loop through three points
3.6.5 Method of the sets of three
3.6.6 Method of variations


4.1 Possibility of integration of different models
4.2 Logistic processes as sources of exogenous data for composite models
4.2.1 Methodological analysis of mathematical methods used for defining
logistic equations to fit experimental data
4.2.2 Check of the coherence of logistic projections carried out in different
4.2.3 Technological forecasts integrated by the input/output method
4.3 Integration of PERT type interactive procedures in modelling
4.4 Definition of programmes for gathering and validation of data
4.5 Spatial and temporal resolution of models

5.1 Necessary steps for the creation of adequate databases
5.2 Theoretical study group
5.3 S-machines feasibility of their use in global models
5.4 The feasibility study
5.4.1 The data
5.4.2 The theory
5.4.3 The mathematical instruments
5.5 Manpower and financial resources required
5.6 Final Memento

Appendix: An annotated Anthology of texts on global models
1. What was there before the models? An American case study
2. Some problems of the models
3. What are global models?
4. The model phases
5. Self-criticism on behalf of the model-builders
6. The study of the proposed feasibility



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