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Multicriteria decision analysis to assist in the selection of coastal defence measures: Involving coastal managers and professionals in the identification and weighting of criteria

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Sauve, Philippe, Bernatchez, Pascal et Glaus, Mathias. 2022. « Multicriteria decision analysis to assist in the selection of coastal defence measures: Involving coastal managers and professionals in the identification and weighting of criteria ». Frontiers in Marine Science, vol. 9.

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Abstract

Coastal socio-ecological systems are complex adaptive systems with nonlinear changing properties and multi-scale dynamics. They are influenced by unpredictable coastal hazards accentuated by the effects of climate change, and they can quickly be altered if critical thresholds are crossed. Additional pressures come from coastal activities and development, both of which attracting stakeholders with different perspectives and interests. While coastal defence measures (CDMs) have been implemented to mitigate coastal hazards for centuries, a lack of knowledge and tools available to make informed decision has led to coastal managers favouring the choice of seawalls or rock armours with little consideration for socio-ecological systems features, and stakeholders’ priorities. Though it is not currently widely applied in coastal zone management, multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) is a tool that can be useful to facilitate decision making. PROMETHEE, an outranking method, was chosen to support the multicriteria decision analysis for the evaluation of CDMs in the context of four study sites characterized by distinct environmental features. The aim was to determine the relevance and benefits of a MCDA by integrating coastal zone stakeholders in a participatory decision-making process in order to select CDMs that are better adapted to the whole socio-ecological system. First, in a series of five workshops, stakeholders were asked to identify and weigh criteria that were relevant to their local conditions. Second and third, CDMs were evaluated in relation to each criterion within the local context, then, hierarchized. Initial results show that vegetation came first in three of the four sites, while rock armour ranked first in the fourth site. A post-evaluation of the participatory process indicated that the weighting phase is an effective way to integrate local knowledge into the decision-making process, but the identification of criteria could be streamlined by the presentation of a predefined list from which participants could make a selection. This would ensure criteria that are standardized, and in a format that is compatible with the MCDA. Coupled with a participatory process MCDA proved to be a flexible methodology that can synthetize multiple aspects of the problem, and contribute in a meaningful way to the coastal engineering and management decision-making process.

Item Type: Peer reviewed article published in a journal
Professor:
Professor
Glaus, Mathias
Affiliation: Génie de la construction
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2022 19:02
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2022 15:09
URI: https://espace2.etsmtl.ca/id/eprint/24453

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