Decision making processes of natural resources for sustainable development are very complex processes that contain large amounts of contradicting criteria and alternatives and/or objectives. Hence efficiency of planning and decision making is highly dependent on the structure of the decision problems.
In this respect Multi Criteria Decision Aid (MCDA) is the most widely used method. Particularly GIS-based MCDA using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) is a well-known method in this respect. However, there are inter relationships and inter-dependencies among problems of the real world. As a result, many spatial problems cannot be structured hierarchically because the importance of the criteria determines the importance of the alternatives, and the importance of the alternatives also determines the importance of the criteria.
Analytical Network Process (ANP) based MCDA is a new planning and decision making approach that allows the decision problem to be modeled considering feedbacks and interdependence among criteria. This study critically reviews GIS-based MCDA using the AHP method and the ANP based MCDA method and forwarded recommendations for future works.
To attain this, practical decision making processes were used of urban form selection for a sustainable development of the Stockholm region. For this purpose literature was reviewed, separate methodologies were developed, criteria were formulated to be analyzed using GIS and SuperDecision software‟s, and finally reasonable results were achieved and separately presented to critically evaluate both the methods and the outcome.
This study showed that GIS has the potential to be an important decision aid tool, that the ANP seems to give more realistic results than the GIS-based MCDA method, and that a compact scenario that over time follows already established polycentric pattern would be the best alternative urban form for a sustainable development of Greater Stockholm.
Author: Alemu, Gulilat