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GIS model for the Land Use and Development Master Plan in Rwanda (Civil Project)

This study was aimed at the development of a Geographical Information System (GIS) based model to support the Rwanda Land Use and Development Master Plan. Developing sustainable land management is the main task of this master plan. Stakeholder’s involvement was of key importance. Their demands should be analysed and visualised to support discussions and the decision-making process. Spatial Multicriteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) is a proven method for land-use planning purposes.

However, most land-use planning applications focus on a specific theme, such as urban development. In addition, land-use planning is often limited to a relatively small area. This thesis focused at the development of a countrywide GIS model, containing all land-uses accommodated in three main land-use categories: urban, agriculture and conservation. The GIS model was largely based on the Land-Use Conflict Identification Strategy (LUCIS) model. Many of the goals, objectives, and subobjectives that described the earlier mentioned land-use categories were adopted from the original model.

However, a significant number of them were dropped, and new were created to suit the Rwandan situation. Stakeholder’s involvement was realized by assigning weights to the goals and preference maps. The Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) was used as weighting method. ESRI’s ArcGIS ModelBuilder was used to give the model shape in the GIS. Firstly, suitability maps were created of all elements in the model. The suitability maps were then transformed into preference maps by weighting them. In the next step the preference maps were collapsed in three classes: low, medium and high preference.

Finally, the preference maps of the three land-use categories were combined, in order to visualize conflict areas. Ortho photos proved to be useful when acting as reference for the suitability and preference maps. Despite a large number of missing datasets, the GIS model was executed to simplify the understanding. However, many of the obtained results were unreliable because of the incompleteness of datasets, and can therefore not be used for decision-making.  Unfortunately, due to the stage of the project it was not possible to obtain weights from the stakeholders, and should therefore be done when the time is right. Right Choice DSS, a very user-friendly decision support application, was proposed to use for calculating weights. To conclude, the developed GIS model integrated countrywide land-use suitability mapping and stakeholders’ wishes that can be used for discussions and decision making.
Source: University of Gävle
Author: Tims, Willem

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