Producing a GIS based multiple criteria analysis tool for regional sustainability assessment: the problem of weighting
Graymore, Michelle, Richards, A. and Wallis, Anne 2007, Producing a GIS based multiple criteria analysis tool for regional sustainability assessment: the problem of weighting, in 2007 ANZEE conference: re-inventing sustainability: a climate for change, Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics, [Noosa Lakes, Qld.], pp. 1-21.
Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics Conference
Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics
Place of publication
[Noosa Lakes, Qld.]
Decision support tools will be useful in guiding regions to sustainability. These need to be simple but effective at identifying, for regional managers, areas most in need of initiatives to progress sustainability. Multiple criteria analysis (MCA) is often used as a decision support tool for a wide range of applications. This method allows many criteria to be considered at one time. It does this by giving a ranking of possible options based on how closely each option meets the criteria. Thus, it is suited to the assessment of regional sustainability as it can consider a number of indicators simultaneously and demonstrates how sustainability can vary at small scales across the region. Coupling MCA with GIS to produce maps, allows this analysis to become visual giving the manager a picture of sustainability across the region. To do this each indicator is standardised to a common scale so that it can be compared to other indicators. A weighting is then applied to each indicator to calculate weighted summation for each area in the region. This paper argues that this is the critical step in developing a useful decision support tool. A study being conducted in south west Victoria demonstrates that the weights chosen can have a dramatic impact on the results of the sustainability assessment. It is therefore imperative that careful consideration be given to determining indicator weights in a way that is objective and fully considers the impact of that indicator on regional sustainability.
Field of Research
070108 Sustainable Agricultural Development
Socio Economic Objective
970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
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