Planning for an Uncertain Future: Can Multicriteria Analysis Support Better Decision Making in Climate Planning?

Ingrid Gould Ellen, Jessica Yager, Melinda Hanson, and Luke Bosher
Journal of Planning Education and Research, 36 (September 2016), pp. 349-362.

The realities of climate change demand updated approaches and tools to support decision making. In this article, we examine the promise of an emerging tool, multicriteria analysis (MCA), in climate-change planning. We find that MCA has the potential to perform better than cost-benefit analysis and working group approaches in supporting decision-making processes that are more participatory, transparent, comprehensive, rigorous, and scenario-driven. However, in practice, MCA may not achieve all of these effective planning principles, and it is more likely to fall short in cases where planners have limited resources.

Wagner Faculty