Multi-objective decision-making for green infrastructure planning (LID-BMPs) in urban storm water management under uncertainty

Ehsan Raei, Mohammad Reza Alizadeh, Mohammad Reza Nikoo*, Jan Adamowski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainable urban surface runoff management is receiving increased attention due to environmental and ecological consequences related to urbanization. This study presents a useful new framework for green infrastructure (GI) planning for the management of urban runoff quality and quantity. The proposed framework considers physical, technical, economic, and multi-stakeholder aspects related to urban runoff management while simultaneously addressing the uncertainties of the decision-making process and model parameters. The methodology is applied to regionally locating and sizing low impact development-best management practices (LID-BMPs) while considering the hydrologic and hydraulic impacts. A decision-making multi-objective optimization framework is developed by integrating: 1) a Multi-Layer Perceptron neural network founded on a Storm Water Management Model (SWMM-MLP meta-model), 2) NSGA-II multi-objective optimization, 3) fuzzy α-cut technique, and 4) a decision-making support model based on social choice theory to elicit trade-offs among system cost and LID-BMP performance indicators. The decision-making model, based on Fuzzy Social Choice (FSC) theory, is applied to simulate consensus between stakeholders for a partially cooperative group decision-making problem. The proposed methodology is explored in a catchment located in the northeastern part of Tehran, Iran. Results showed that the SWMM could be effectively replaced with a MLP-based meta-model in simulation-optimization problems for urban runoff management. In the application of FSC methods, the optimal scenarios were effective in reducing the volume of urban runoff and contamination loads while maintaining the optimality of the operation costs. Considering the optimal LID scenario, a reduction of more than 99% in runoff volume and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), and a decrease of more than 92% of total suspended solids (TSS), occurred for the lower bound of uncertainty (lower (left) end of the α-cut = 0.3). For the upper bound of uncertainty (upper (right) end of the α-cut level = 0.3), a maximum reduction of 57% was obtained. In applying FSC methods through the decision-making process, the Borda Counting method considered the preferences of all stakeholders best. Moreover, the proposed framework allows decision-makers to decide on the acceptability and reliability of the optimal management scenarios considering their preferences and uncertainties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124091
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Fuzzy social choice (FSC) theory
  • Fuzzy α-cut techniques
  • Green infrastructure (GI)
  • Low impact development (LID)
  • Multi-objective optimization
  • Storm Water Management Model (SWMM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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