A value-based definition of success in adaptive port planning: a case study of the Port of Isafjordur in Iceland

  • Majid EskafiEmail author
  • Reza Fazeli
  • Ali Dastgheib
  • Poonam Taneja
  • Gudmundur F. Ulfarsson
  • Ragnheidur I. Thorarinsdottir
  • Gunnar Stefansson
Original Article


Multiple stakeholders with a wide range of objectives are engaged in a port system. Ports themselves are faced with many uncertainties in this volatile world. To meet stakeholder objectives and deal with uncertainties, adaptive port planning is increasingly being acknowledged. This method offers robust planning, and thereby, a sustainable and flexible port may be developed. The planning process starts with defining success in terms of the specific objectives of stakeholders during the projected lifetime of the port. In the present work, an integrated framework to reach a consensus on the definition of success, involving stakeholders with different influences, stakes and objectives, is presented. The framework synthesises the problem structuring method with stakeholder analysis and combines these with fuzzy logic to support decision-makers in formulating a definition of success in the planning process. Our framework is applied to the Port of Isafjordur, the third busiest port of call for cruise ships in Iceland. Values of stakeholders about port planning were structured around the value-focussed thinking method to identify stakeholder objectives. The highest level of agreement on the objectives, which is viewed here as success in port planning, was revealed by the fuzzy multi-attribute group decision-making method. Success was defined, prioritising an increase in competitiveness among other planning objectives, such as effective and efficient use of land, increasing safety and security, increasing hinterland connectivity, increasing financial performance, better environmental implications, flexibility creation and increasing positive economic and social impacts.


Decision-making process Adaptive port planning Definition of success Value-focussed thinking Iceland 



The time and expertise contributed by the people listed in Table 1 and other formal and informal groups who were involved in this project are acknowledged. The authors are grateful to anonymous referees for their careful review of this paper, corrections and fruitful remarks. This work was supported in part by the University of Iceland Research Fund (Rannsoknarsjodur Haskola Islands), the Municipality of Isafjardarbaer and the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration Research Fund (Rannsoknarsjodur Vegagerdarinnar).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Majid Eskafi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Reza Fazeli
    • 2
  • Ali Dastgheib
    • 3
  • Poonam Taneja
    • 4
  • Gudmundur F. Ulfarsson
    • 1
  • Ragnheidur I. Thorarinsdottir
    • 5
  • Gunnar Stefansson
    • 6
  1. 1.Faculty of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of IcelandReykjavíkIceland
  2. 2.Environment and Natural Resources ProgramUniversity of IcelandReykjavíkIceland
  3. 3.Water Science and Engineering DepartmentUNESCO-IHE DelftDelftThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Faculty of Civil Engineering and GeosciencesDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Agricultural University of IcelandReykjavíkIceland
  6. 6.Faculty of Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Computer ScienceUniversity of IcelandReykjavikIceland

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