Collaborative Neighborhood-Scale Sustainability Assessment and Planning using the Spatial Optimization for Urban Resource Conservation and Engagement (SOURCE) Tool : Applying the Analytic Hierarchy Process for Spatial Decision Support Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/qb98mk02m

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  • A fundamental problem that emerges during the planning of a city or neighborhood is how to prioritize sustainable development criteria and where to focus efforts. Solving this problem is a complex task requiring an integrated approach, which considers environmental, economic, and social criteria, as well as stakeholder preferences. Given the complexity of the problem and its spatial dimensions, it may be examined by combining Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) methods in a Geographical Information System (GIS) environment. These approaches, which are based on the collective definition and weighting of multiple criteria and indicators of neighborhood sustainability, create a spatial decision support system (SDSS) to inform land use planning. The Spatial Optimization for Urban Resource Conservation and Engagement (SOURCE) DSS was created to identify priority development areas for the South of Market EcoDistrict, an urban renewal area in Portland, Oregon. Environmental, economic, and social criteria and indicators were selected and evaluated through content analysis of comprehensive plans, official reports, and stakeholder-derived data. The priorities of top-down and bottom-up stakeholders were organized into a hierarchical decision structure to facilitate a series of pairwise comparisons. This AHP-based methodology resulted in a systematic weighting of sustainable development indicators that were spatially optimized for shared public and private values. The preferences of these stakeholders were spatially modeled to identify the location of poor performing blocks in the neighborhood that have a shared interest among stakeholder groups. The final result was an SDSS that identified the most suitable sites for neighborhood-scale sustainable development projects based on a need for mitigation and shared public and private values. The ability to adapt current sustainability development indicators to the neighborhood scale was also evaluated. Combining AHP with GIS proved to be a useful method in participatory sustainability planning when alternative projects need to be identified and prioritized to guide the development of a neighborhood.
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