Evaluating a multi-criteria model for hazard assessment in urban design. The Porto Marghera case study

Paolo Luria, Peter A. Aspinall

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    The aim of this paper is to describe a new approach to major industrial hazard assessment, which has been recently studied by the authors in conjunction with the Italian Environmental Protection Agency ('ARPAV'). The real opportunity for developing a different approach arose from the need of the Italian EPA to provide the Venice Port Authority with an appropriate estimation of major industrial hazards in Porto Marghera, an industrial estate near Venice (Italy). However, the standard model, the quantitative risk analysis (QRA), only provided a list of individual quantitative risk values, related to single locations. The experimental model is based on a multi-criteria approach - the Analytic Hierarchy Process - which introduces the use of expert opinions, complementary skills and expertise from different disciplines in conjunction with quantitative traditional analysis. This permitted the generation of quantitative data on risk assessment from a series of qualitative assessments, on the present situation and on three other future scenarios, and use of this information as indirect quantitative measures, which could be aggregated for obtaining the global risk rate. This approach is in line with the main concepts proposed by the last European directive on Major Hazard Accidents, which recommends increasing the participation of operators, taking the other players into account and, moreover, paying more attention to the concepts of 'urban control', 'subjective risk' (risk perception) and intangible factors (factors not directly quantifiable). © 2003 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)625-653
    Number of pages29
    JournalEnvironmental Impact Assessment Review
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003


    • Analytic hierarchy process
    • Hazard
    • Major accident
    • Multi-criteria model
    • Risk


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