Transit-Oriented Development Suitability Analysis by the Analytic Hierarchy Process and a Geographic Information System: A Prototype Procedure

Journal of Public Transportation Article in Volume 2, Issue 1 (1998) by Reza Banai, The University of Memphis          

Abstract

A prototype procedure is illustrated to assess the suitability of land use around proposed light rail transit stations of a metropolitan area, with an example of a focus on one station area land use pattern. Transit oriented development (TOD) guidelines provide the criteria for an assessment. The procedure for assessment is facilitated by a geographic information system (GIS), and the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), a multicriteria methodology that is increasingly employed in conjunction with geographic information systems. The weights of the criteria are determined through paired comparisons (relative measurement), and a ratings intensity scale is used to determine the scores of land units (absolute measurement). This flexibility in measurement is helpful in situations where land use criteria, such as TOD guidelines, as suitability factors and with certain desirable thresholds of intensity are known, but must be considered strategically and adaptively, responsive to local priorities and site-specific conditions. The scores of land uses on a scale of zero to 100 percent are determined, which indicate the degrees of the suitability of a transit station area as a potential TOD. As well, the proportions suggest changes that target particular parcels–individually and as a group–so as to bring about a desirable mix of the public, core/employment, and housing uses for an urban TOD. This prototype application highlights the versatile properties of the AHP, particularly when used in the specific context of a development paradigm (TOD) in conjunction with a geographic information system that has not been previously addressed in the literature on applications.