Urban and territorial systems can be regarded as a multifaceted concept which includes socio-economic, ecological, technical, political and ethical perspectives. Decision problems in the domain of urban and territorial systems represent “weak” or unstructured problems since they are characterized by multiple actors, many and often conflicting values and views, a wealth of possible outcomes and high uncertainty. Under these circumstances, the evaluation of alternative scenarios is therefore a complex decision problem where different aspects need to be considered simultaneously, taking into account both technical elements, which are based on empirical observations, and non technical elements, which are based on social visions, preferences and feelings. A very useful support in such decision problems is provided by Multicriteria Analysis (MCA), which are used to make a comparative assessment of alternative projects or heterogeneous measures. These methods allow several criteria to be taken into account simultaneously in a complex situation and they are designed to help Decision Makers to integrate the different options, which reflect the opinions of the involved actors, in a prospective or retrospective framework. Participation of the decision-makers in the process is a central part of the approach.
The course aims at providing the students with a basic understanding of MCA, with particular reference to the decision problems in the context of urban and territorial transformations.
The different evaluation methods will be explained considering the presentation of the methodological background and the illustration of case studies, in order to show how the techniques can be used in order to address real-world decision problems.
1. Introduction to MCA. General overview on MCA to perform sustainability assessment for projects, plans and programmes.
2. Conducting a MCA: structuring the decision problem, definition of alternative scenarios, identification of objectives and criteria, performances evaluation, weighting and aggregation, sensitivity analysis
3. Classification of MCA methods: utility-based theory, outranking relation theory, decision rules theory
4. Presentation of MCA methods: Multi-attribute value theory (MAVT), Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)/Analytic Network Process (ANP), Elimination and Choice expressing the reality (ELECTRE), Preference tanking organization method for enrichment of evaluation (PROMETHEE), Dominance-based rough set approach (DRSA)