Site Suitability Analysis
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  • 1. Massachusetts Biodiversity Consultants (MBC) Becky Alper Rahul Rakshit Ben Munro Tim Currie Dong-Ha Hwang Multi-Objective Site Suitability Analysis in Central Massachusetts
  • 2. Our Targets in Central Mass.
    • Protect half of the currently (1997) developable land in its natural state while:
      • Finding the best 5,000 hectares for additional protection from development;
      • The best 600 hectares for new urban areas;
      • And the best 1,900 hectares for additional residential land.
  • 3. Biodiversity in Massachusetts
    • In the last 100 years
    • agriculture has declined
    • forest has increased.
    • Forest cover:
    • 68% of land area.
    • Forests provide:
      • Habitat: Black bear, beavers, moose, bald eagle etc.
      • Clean water and air
      • Aesthetic value and tourism
      • Timber e.g. red oak, white pine
      • Protection of biodiversity in Massachusetts.
  • 4. What are the factors affecting land use in Massachusetts?
    • Citizens seek a higher quality of life. They want to build residences around rural landscapes, not too close to urban centers
      • Yet residential sprawl leads to fragmented forests and biodiversity loss
    • Wildlife habitat is best in corridors and large patches
  • 5. MBC’s Decision Logic
    • We promote new urban and residential development close to existing development (existing urban, roads, residential areas).
    • We concentrate on conservation in large reserves and around wetlands, lakes and streams to maximize biodiversity.
  • 6. Constraints
    • Buffers 30.48 m (100 ft) from all streams, wetlands and lakes.
    • No urban or residential development is possible on land with slope greater than 25%.
    • Existing urban land cannot be converted to any other land use.
    • Each pixel, which represents 30x30 m on the ground, can only be used for one land use at one time.
  • 7. Factor Standardization
    • Urban development in relation to water.
  • 8.
    • New residential land in relation to existing roads.
    Factor Standardization
  • 9.
    • Protected land in relation to developed land.
    Factor Standardization
  • 10. Factor Weights
  • 11. Multi-Criteria Evaluation Best New Urban Area
  • 12. Multi-Criteria Evaluation Best New Residential Area
  • 13. Multi-Criteria Evaluation Best New Protected Area
  • 14. Results: Multi-Objective Allocation
  • 15. Discussion of Results
    • According to MCE, we met all our objectives, BUT!
      • Contiguity vs. fragmentation issues and its relation with biodiversity
      • Factor weight issues (arbitrariness)
      • Decision-making issues of IDRISI
  • 16. Thank you for choosing Massachusetts Biodiversity Consultants