The Analytic Network Process (ANP) multi-criteria method is an innovative decision-making support system (Saaty, 2003; 2005). It is a process that allows us to include all the factors and criteria, both tangible and intangible, that have a bearing on the decision-making process. However, the ANP considers the political aspect of the decision, simplifying the different stakeholdersâ€™ roles and conflict mediation, through a bottom-up process. Moreover, it is the only method network structured in order to link together the various elements through relations. This better represents complex systems like urban space and transformations in it.
This research aims to create a decision support model useful in deciding locations for new retail areas in the Trentino area (Italy) adjacent to the Adige river. The model has been developed both at the macro (valley communities) and micro (municipality) levels and it was tested on the five main municipalities of the Trentino District - Trento, Rovereto, Riva del Garda, Pergine Valsugana and Arco. Nevertheless, the paper presents the Rovereto case study because an additional test was carried out there involving some local stakeholders to verify the model's coherence levels and to provide a critical review of the methodology.
The results obtained consist of the development of an operational evaluation system which is easy to replicate and adaptable to other spatial scenarios and which can support the policy makers in the strategic spatial planning through a participative process.
Analytic Network Process, decision support system, spatial planning, development policy, territorial integrated evaluation (TIE)
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