Main content area

Developing a green city assessment system using cognitive maps and the Choquet Integral

Brito, Verónica T.F., Ferreira, Fernando A.F., Pérez-Gladish, Blanca, Govindan, Kannan, Meidutė-Kavaliauskienė, Ieva
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.218 pp. 486-497
cities, cognition, decision support systems, ecology, experts, models, multi-criteria decision making, urban areas
Equitable human well-being and environmental concerns in urban areas have, over the years, become increasingly challenging issues. This trend is related to both the complexity inherent in the multiple factors to be considered when evaluating eco-friendly cities (i.e., green cities) and the way this type of city’s sustainability depends on many evaluation criteria, which hampers all decision-making processes. Using a multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA) approach, this study sought to develop a multiple-criteria model that facilitates the evaluation of green cities’ sustainability, based on cognitive mapping techniques and the Choquet integral (CI). Taking a constructivist and process-oriented stance, the research included identifying evaluation criteria and their respective interactions using a panel of experts with specialized knowledge in the subject under analysis. The resulting framework and its application were validated both by the panel members and a parliamentary representative of the Portuguese ecology party “Os Verdes” (The Greens), who confirmed that the evaluation system created distinguishes between cities according to how strongly they adhere to “green” principles. The advantages and limitations of the proposed framework are also discussed.