Environmental protection zones priorization for the decision making support

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by: Luis Alejandro Builes Jaramillo, Laura Lotero Vélez & Joan Amir Arroyave Rojas



Air quality assessment deal with emission, concentration levels and definition of polluted areas, the results are often related with command and control regulations or restriction to transportation and industrial activities. This kind of approaches gives to environmental and territorial planners areas for special management and use.


Facilitate the priorization of those polluted areas in terms of future interventions to decision makers, integrating public health and demographic indicators to a previous planning exercise through, an Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) approach.

Materials and methods

With an AHP developed via surveys for territorial and environmental planning experts, it was possible to define the importance weight and relevance of new indicators in the decision making exercise of prioritization of polluted areas in Medellin. The indicators were chosen from public databases of demographic and public health information and one of them (demographic) with a prospective time frame.


Experts in territorial planning tends to give more importance to health indicators for the prioritization of intervention in polluted areas, while the inclusion of a prospective indicator was useful in the definition of which of the areas should be the first or the most critical for intervention. The results also show that experts seem to have problems in structuring their decisions presenting some inconsistencies in their answers.


We present clear cut results showing that the inclusion of new variables, especially those dealing with prospective information in previous air quality planning exercise is useful for the strategic decision making process.

Key Words: environmental protection, environmental zoning, environmental planning, multi criteria, AHP, air quality assessment.

Link to material: http://www.scielo.org.co/pdf/pml/v8n1/v8n1a07.pdf