Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 859–885 | Cite as

An integrated approach for studying the land suitability for ecological corridors through spatial multicriteria evaluations

  • Valentina Ferretti
  • Silvia Pomarico
Case Study


Nature conservation is a very important issue in the sustainability assessments and spatial planning context. Knowledge of the suitability of the land to behave as an ecological corridor thus provides very significant input to land-use planning. Nature conservation and land-use planning are by their nature spatial problems. A family of methods that are rapidly gaining traction for planning and policymaking, named spatial multicriteria evaluations (SMCE), which are based on geographic information systems (GIS) and multicriteria analysis (MCA) coupling, can be an effective support for this area. The present paper proposes the integration of the GIS with a specific MCA technique, named Analytic Network Process to assess the ecological value of the land in the Piedmont Region (northern Italy). The results are obtained in the form of maps to be used as decision variables in planning. The study concludes with some lessons learned during the development of the SMCE and highlights that the applied methodology is an effective tool for decision makers in spatial planning and strategic assessments.


Spatial multicriteria evaluations Geographic information systems Ecological corridors planning Analytic Network Process Indicators 



The contribution is the result of the joint effort of the authors. Despite the global responsibility for the work being equally shared between the two authors, it should be noted that Valentina Ferretti was responsible for the research outlined in paragraphs 1, 2.1, 3.2.1 and 3.2.2, while Silvia Pomarico undertook the research described in paragraphs 2.2, 3.1, 3.2.3 and 3.2.4. The abstract and paragraphs 4 and 5 are the result of the joint work of the two authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning (DIST)Politecnico di TorinoTurinItaly

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