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Decision-Making for Urban Planning and Regional Development

Call for Papers

Urban and regional development can be considered as multidimensional concepts which include socioeconomic, ecological, cultural, technical, and ethical perspectives. Decision problems in the domain of urban and regional development processes represent “weak” or unstructured problems since they are characterized by multiple actors, many and often conflicting values and views, a wealth of possible outcomes, and high uncertainty. Under these circumstances, the evaluation of alternative projects is therefore a complex decision problem where different aspects need to be considered simultaneously, taking into account both technical elements, which are based on empirical observations, and nontechnical elements, which are based on social visions, preferences, and feelings.

This special issue aims at investigating the role played by evaluation to support decisions in urban planning and regional development, starting from the investigation of needs and preferences, to the definition of objectives, to the choice of the strategies, and to the exploration and monitoring of the outcomes.

The focus of the special issue will be on operational research theory, methodology, and applications involving the aforementioned issues in the general domain of sustainability assessment, including energy planning, smart cities, environmental management, and innovative urban development projects/processes.

The special issue will collect high quality, original papers that contribute to the methodology and application of operational research and to the practice of decision-making. Aim of the special issue is to prove how OR methodologies and tools can represent a scientifically based support for facing the complexity of decision-making in urban planning and regional development, by improving the effectiveness and soundness of choices and thus increasing transparency in collective decision-making and enhancing collective learning processes.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Integrated sustainability assessment
  • Evaluation tools and models for smart and resilient cities and territories
  • Multicriteria decision analysis
  • Problem structuring methods
  • Continuous and discrete optimization models
  • Agent-based modelling and simulation
  • Bayesian networks for modelling and managing risks
  • Fuzzy sets and fuzzy logic
  • Project management
  • Environmental impact assessment (EIA)/strategic environmental assessment (SEA)
  • Cost benefit analysis
  • GIS and spatial decision support systems (SDSS)
  • Urban and regional economics
  • Landscape and cultural heritage assessment
  • Stated/revealed preference methods
  • Environmental economics

Authors can submit their manuscripts through the Manuscript Tracking System at

Submission DeadlineFriday, 29 December 2017
Publication DateMay 2018

Papers are published upon acceptance, regardless of the Special Issue publication date.

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