INVESTIGATION OF SUSTAINABLE URBAN DEVELOPMENT DIRECTION USING GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (CASE STUDY: ZANJAN CITY)
The ever-increasing development of the cities and the growth of population have led to an uncontrollable sprawl of spatial structure of the cities. Hence, sustainable development and organizing of land-use planning are always an important concern of decision makers. Zanjan city, due to the existence of physical limitations and environmental issues, needs precise planning regarding city development. The aim of this study is to determine the sustainable development direction of urban development while taking the social, economic, and environmental perspectives into account. To determine suitable lands for future developments, totally 10 criteria in three groups, specifically social, economic and environmental were employed. In order to analyse the considered criteria in this study, experts’ opinions were gathered to be used in determining the weights of the criteria using the analytical hierarchical process (AHP). Then, the yielded weights were applied to the criteria in a geographical information system (GIS) through spatial analyses. Finally, the technique for order of preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS), as a multi-attribute decision making (MADM) method, was utilized to extract the priority of suitable lands for city development. The results show that the most suitable lands for the purpose of future developments are located in the north-eastern and eastern parts, after which are the lands located in the north-western parts. In addition, 15 percent of city development since 2005 has occurred in unsuitable lands. Moreover, to evaluate the results, TOPSIS outcomes were compared with the weighted sum model (WSM) approach.