Decision-support systems for sustainable urban planning
The question of urban sustainability becomes more and more pressing with regard to the scarcity of urban environmental resources such as ground, air, water, etc. Thus, planners are confronted with the necessity of taking into account impacts typically analysed by other disciplines. Decision-support systems (DSS) have been developed to introduce multiple inter-disciplinary aspects to the planning process in this complex decision environment. To illustrate the role of DSS applications in the processes of decision making in today's urban planning, this paper first introduces a select set of approaches to modelling the urban environment and the interaction of actors at different levels of decision making; then a select set of evaluation methods is presented to obtain a more complete simulation of urban dynamics; finally the process of translating the conceptual model of the problem and the decision space into DSS information technology is introduced.
Keywords: decision support systems, DSS, decision making, urban planning, urban system models, graphical user interfaces, GUI, inter-disciplinary modelling, environmental management, simulation, information technology, planning support systems, sustainable development