A Proposal for an Environmental Decision Support System at the Regional Level: Concepts, Support Methodology, Tools and their Terminology

Grubler A, Katsonis F, Mazzoni B, & Wooding S (1984). A Proposal for an Environmental Decision Support System at the Regional Level: Concepts, Support Methodology, Tools and their Terminology. IIASA Collaborative Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: CP-84-038

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Abstract

One of the goals of IIASA's research activities in the area of environmental quality modeling is the integration of data and models in a unified framework to assist decision makers with the management of complex environmental systems.

Building on IIASA's work undertaken within the WELMM (Water, Energy, Land, Materials and Manpower) project of the former Resources and Environment Area and the work on Decision Support Systems of the former Management and Technology Area, a conceptual framework for an environmental decision support system (EDSS) has been developed and is presented in this paper. The proposed EDSS has been developed with the interest and the financial support of the CSI, the Center for Information Systems of the Regional Government of Piemonte, Italy.

The main issue addressed by this paper is to devise a system assisting decision makers in tackling environmental problems at the regional level. These decisions are typically characterized by a combination of both structured (formalizable, described in a quantitative model) and unstructured elements (incomplete information, undefined cause-effect relationships, influence of political objectives, public perception, consideration of aesthetics, etc.).

The proposed EDSS enables the user to use models and data, of relevance to a particular task, which are embedded in the EDSS in the form of a process information system. The specific feature of this process information system is that it contains processes of anthropogenic nature (the socio-economic activities being the cause of environmental impacts like power plants, industrial production units, etc.) as well as natural processes determining the spatial/temporal distribution and the extent of environmental quality changes (like the dispersion and deposition of air pollutants and their effect on human population, vegetation and wildlife).

The system ensures that the data and models, which have been developed in the context of specific EDSS applications are documented right from the outset and become thus equally available for further use. This becomes especially important in view of the long-term effort to be put into the development of data and models dealing with the large number of environmental problems that governments, industry and academic institutions are confronted with at the regional level.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Collaborative Paper)
Research Programs: Environment Program (ENV)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:55
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2016 19:23
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/2539

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