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Multi-Objective Spatial Decision Model for Land Use Planning in a Tourism District of India

C. Jeganathan1*,P. S. Roy2 and M. N. Jha3

  1. School of Geography, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom
  2. Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS, NRSC-ISRO), Dehradun, Uttarakhand 248001, India
  3. Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, Uttarakhand 248006, India

*Corresponding author. Email:


Developing tourism in a hilly region has become a thriving process which induces a complex land-cover dynamics. The study area (Shimla District in Himachal Pradesh) is located in the beautiful Himalayan environment in northern India and was the summer capital of India during the days of British rule. The current study has attempted to understand and model the suitability of three major land use forces (agriculture need, forest ecosystem conservation and human development) using the spatial Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP). Further, the study utilised a multi-objective conflict analysis (MOCA) to understand and resolve the competition amongst these major land use forces. The cross overlay analysis of the existing land use map and the MOCA-derived map infers that the agricultural and human settlement preference can potentially expand into 26% of the current actual forest area. Around 18% of the potentially suitable area for forest class has already been occupied by non-forest classes. The potential future change zones are located in the middle and western regions/sections of the study area. Since the western region is already developed, more attention needs to be paid in the future to the central region of the study area.

Keywords: multi-objective, decision model, planning, land use, allocation

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