Developing a framework for determining the contribution of transportation project to sustainable development
In the past few years, stakeholders in the transportation industry have been concerned with sustainability. However, transportation decision makers have had difficulty incorporating sustainability into transportation infrastructure decisions. This is mainly attributed to the vagueness of the term. Incorporating sustainability into transportation decision making has been a desire put forth by engineers for that past 10 years. However, with no apparent method of defining sustainability, designers and decision makers have not been able to fulfill this desire. This investigation attempts to define sustainability in a comprehensive and quantitative manner. The research proposes a new methodology that relies on the objective quantification of the elements of quality of life and extrapolates this methodology to address the impact on future generations and obtain a definition for sustainable development. The approach herein aims to avoid subjective weighting through realizing a common denominator for high level decisions. The common denominators are time and money. In this proposition, time and money are considered the basic units of any decision. The proposed approach uses these basic units, along with sustainability definitions, to build a methodological framework that can be used to reduce complex problems to two dimensional problems. Based on the developed methodology, a decision support framework was developed in order to perform the necessary operations for sustainability quantification. This research illustrates the utilization of the Dynamic Index for National and Regional Advancement Proposition framework in quantifying sustainable development. A system dynamics model composed of three main high level engines is used to assist in the calculation; an economic, an environmental and a social engine. A traffic simulation model and a land use model were also developed adding a micro level for the original model. Both model levels can operate independently as a result of the stable intermediate forms concept that was employed during the model development The individual output of each of these engines is investigated using real data. The work introduces a case study with two transportation alternatives are compared using the Dynamic Index Proposition and a traditional Multi Criteria Decision Making approach. Furthermore, a hypothetical example is introduced and solved using the system dynamics model.
Haddock, Purdue University.
Civil engineering|Sustainability|Transportation planning
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