Assessment of Ecological Capability of Urban Development by Using Multi-criteria Decision Making Model (MCDM) and GIS (Case Study: Sari City, Mazandaran Province)



Extended Abstract

The characteristics of our age include urbanite population, increase of population of cities followed by development of small and large cities. Each land is constituted of various factors and elements located in the surface or near to the surface of the land which are different from each other in different regions individually or collectively. These factors and elements which form different regions are called natural or ecological resources which consist of physical and biological resources and are utilized by man individually or collectively. Considering the increasing development of cities, more problems appear in daily life of man in the form of serious issues. On the other hand, development of cities which is one of the necessary aspects for continuation of life and activities of human may not be limited, rather it should be arranged proportional to present and future needs of man .so that any damage to environment is prevented. Use of land without talking into consideration ecological differences and environmental potentials will cause unpleasant consequences and destruction of environment which will ultimately threat natural resources and prevents from sustainable development of environment. Therefore, land planning based on preparation and assessment of ecologic power has recently been considered by many countries as the most tool and factor in fulfillment of sustainable development.

In the near past, land units were studied and assessed on a descriptive and qualitative basis, while today, land preparation planners need quantitative assessment to meet economic needs. In such conditions, qualitative estimation cannot be effective. On the other hand, by considering the fact that several factors, for example, contribute in establishment of a city in a geographical plain, use of different qualitative indexes becomes more necessary. But in such conditions, considering the mental limitation that everyone suffers from it, inputting several indexes or measures in the assessment causes deviation of the assessment from a simple analytic status that can be afforded by mind and a powerful scientific analytic tool will therefore be needed. Therefore, researchers' attention has been drawn toward multi-index decision making models for complicated decisions. Multi-index decision making is the selection of superior option by considering several criteria where more than one measurement index contribute in the selection of superior option. But considering the fact that it is assumed in these techniques that the area under study has a spatial compatibility, these techniques lack any spatial dimension. This premise seems unreal in most conditions resulting from decision making since assessment index changes throughout the space. Therefore, a framework for the analysis of GIS-based multi-index decision is needed so that GIS capabilities may be used in obtaining, storing, recovery processing and analysis of data on an integrated basis along with technical capabilities of multi-index decision making models.

Results and Discussion
The present research has been compiled with the goal of determination of a suitable urban development landuse based on the standards of ecological capability assessment model of urban, rural and industrial development of Iran and by using MCDM method based and Geographical Information System in Sari City, Mazandaran Province (GIS). The results indicate that from the total area of Sari which has been. Identified in 1995 ecological units, 32713.23 hectares have been allocated to suitable landuse, 47668.465 hectares to moderate landuse and 275438.399 hectares to inappropriate landuse of urban development.