Choosing between alternative plans: An assessment approach - Main Users / Purpose

files/images_static/user.jpg Private and public sector regional, urban or sectoral planners.

Objective criteria can be in the form of multiple hurdles (i.e. each criteria must be met before the individual can proceed to the next step in the process) or additive. Each criteria provides a score which is added up across the range of criteria to produce a final rating. Criteria considered more important than others may provide additional points to form a weighted linear sum. Each of these systems has its own advantages and disadvantages and these issues must be considered before selecting a system.

The value of subjectivity in the process is made clear when one considers the huge number of variables that may be input into the selection model. It is not always possible to insert every variable into the calculations due to the numbers involved, a lack of awareness of the variable and/or difficulties inherent in measuring certain variables.

Economic and financial assessments are also complex and expensive to implement. Therefore a series of subjective selection criteria can be used to generate a certain degree of objectivity.

The method being described here bridges the gap between objectivity and subjectivity. In addition to using a series of subjective criteria, the example also makes extensive use of Geographical information system (GIS) to present the alternatives on different maps.