The primary goal of low impact development (LID) is to capture urban stormwater runoff; however, multiple indirect benefits (environmental and socioeconomic benefits) also exist (e.g., improvements to human health and decreased air pollution). Identifying sites with the highest demand or need for LID ensures the maximization of all benefits. This is a spatial decision-making problem that has not been widely addressed in the literature and was the focus of this research. Previous research has focused on finding feasible sites for installing LID, whilst only considering insufficient criteria which represent the benefits of LID (either neglecting the hydrological and hydraulic benefits or indirect benefits). This research considered the hydrological and hydraulic, environmental, and socioeconomic benefits of LID to identify sites with the highest demand for LID. Specifically, a geospatial framework was proposed that uses publicly available data, hydrological-hydraulic principles, and a simple additive weighting (SAW) method within a hierarchical decision-making model. Three indices were developed to determine the LID demand: (1) hydrological-hydraulic index (HHI), (2) socioeconomic index (SEI), and (3) environmental index (ENI). The HHI was developed based on a heuristic model using hydrological-hydraulic principles and validated against the results of a physical model, the Hydrologic Engineering Center-Hydrologic Modeling System model (HEC-HMS). The other two indices were generated using the SAW hierarchical model and then incorporated into the HHI index to generate the LID demand index (LIDDI). The framework was applied to the City of Toronto, yielding results that are validated against historical flooding records.
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