IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Environmental choices in the era of ecological modernization: siting of common interest facilities as a multi-alternative decision field problem in insular setups


  • Georgios K. Vasios

    () (University of the Aegean
    University of the Aegean)

  • Andreas Y. Troumbis

    () (University of the Aegean)

  • Yiannis Zevgolis

    (University of the Aegean)

  • Maria N. Hatziantoniou

    () (University of the Aegean)

  • Marios F. Balis

    () (University of the Aegean)


The problem of siting common interest environmental facilities, in the era of ecological modernization, needs to be reformulated so that could support policies towards internalization of environmental externalities. The technical aspects of the siting problem, which ultimate goal is to propose economically efficient and environmentally suitable land use, are well studied in the literature and nowadays land suitability analysis has more evolved to a participatory terrain for expert practitioners and consultants. In our research, a new siting model is proposed, as an analogy to the multi-alternative preferential choice theory, where siting is reformed as a participatory evaluation problem of a set of alternative sites. Our model, on its technical level, is structured as a sequential process of trade-offs among multiple conflicting attributes in two stages: (a) the calculation of weighted comparative scores per site and (b) the introduction of basis scenarios with a range of deviations for weights coefficients of selection criteria. The outputs of the second stage are a set of hierarchization probabilities (scores), after applying multi-criteria decision analysis methodology. The meta-analysis of these scores provides a set of alternative siting problem solutions which are analytical in results, transparent in process, and more importantly highly participatory. The produced ranking matrices and distributions give quantitative insights on local stakeholders or groups of decision-makers preferences. Efficiently aiding decision-making process is a complex and challenging task, and our model was tested under a real siting case, i.e. in facilitating local community’s decision for the translocation of the thermal power production plant of Lesvos Island in Greece. After a long-term and severe conflict with the introduction of the proposed participatory process, (a) the stakeholders appreciated the transparency, simplicity, flexibility and user-friendliness of the model and visualization tool and (b) the public participation and trust to ‘outside experts’ was increased significantly. Here, the specific siting problem is used as explanatory exercise of the proposed siting model providing aspects and visualization of the models results, focusing on highlighting its key points.

Suggested Citation

  • Georgios K. Vasios & Andreas Y. Troumbis & Yiannis Zevgolis & Maria N. Hatziantoniou & Marios F. Balis, 2019. "Environmental choices in the era of ecological modernization: siting of common interest facilities as a multi-alternative decision field problem in insular setups," Environment Systems and Decisions, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 49-64, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:envsyd:v:39:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s10669-018-9690-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s10669-018-9690-9

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ang, B. W., 2004. "Decomposition analysis for policymaking in energy:: which is the preferred method?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1131-1139, June.
    2. Kontogianni, Areti & Tourkolias, Christos & Skourtos, Michalis, 2013. "Renewables portfolio, individual preferences and social values towards RES technologies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 467-476.
    3. de Groot, Rudolf & Brander, Luke & van der Ploeg, Sander & Costanza, Robert & Bernard, Florence & Braat, Leon & Christie, Mike & Crossman, Neville & Ghermandi, Andrea & Hein, Lars & Hussain, Salman & , 2012. "Global estimates of the value of ecosystems and their services in monetary units," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 50-61.
    4. Cucchiella, Federica & D’Adamo, Idiano & Lenny Koh, S.C. & Rosa, Paolo, 2015. "Recycling of WEEEs: An economic assessment of present and future e-waste streams," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 263-272.
    5. Jörg Rieskamp & Jerome R. Busemeyer & Barbara A. Mellers, 2006. "Extending the Bounds of Rationality: Evidence and Theories of Preferential Choice," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(3), pages 631-661, September.
    6. Haralambopoulos, D.A., 1995. "Analysis of wind characteristics and potential in the East Mediterranean—the Lesvos case," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 445-454.
    7. Mitroff, Ian I. & Linstone, Harold A., 1993. "The unbounded mind: Breaking the chains of traditional business thinking," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 88-89.
    8. Boris Yatsalo & Sergey Gritsyuk & Terry Sullivan & Benjamin Trump & Igor Linkov, 2016. "Multi-criteria risk management with the use of DecernsMCDA: methods and case studies," Environment Systems and Decisions, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 266-276, September.
    9. Iosif Botetzagias & Chrisovaladis Malesios & Anthi Kolokotroni & Yiannis Moysiadis, 2015. "The role of NIMBY in opposing the siting of wind farms: evidence from Greece," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 58(2), pages 229-251, February.
    10. Smith, Ron I. & Barton, David N. & Dick, Jan & Haines-Young, Roy & Madsen, Anders L. & Rusch, Graciela M. & Termansen, Mette & Woods, Helen & Carvalho, Laurence & Giucă, Relu Constantin & Luque, Sand, 2018. "Operationalising ecosystem service assessment in Bayesian Belief Networks: Experiences within the OpenNESS project," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 29(PC), pages 452-464.
    11. Kaldellis, J. K., 2005. "Social attitude towards wind energy applications in Greece," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 595-602, March.
    12. Kaldellis, J.K. & Zafirakis, D., 2007. "Present situation and future prospects of electricity generation in Aegean Archipelago islands," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 4623-4639, September.
    13. Jeffrey C. Cegan & Ashley M. Filion & Jeffrey M. Keisler & Igor Linkov, 2017. "Trends and applications of multi-criteria decision analysis in environmental sciences: literature review," Environment Systems and Decisions, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 123-133, June.
    14. Raskin, Paul D., 1995. "Methods for estimating the population contribution to environmental change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 225-233, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. A. Psomas & I. Vryzidis & A. Spyridakos & M. Mimikou, 2021. "MCDA approach for agricultural water management in the context of water–energy–land–food nexus," Operational Research, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 689-723, March.
    2. Dimitropoulos, Alexandros & Kontoleon, Andreas, 2009. "Assessing the determinants of local acceptability of wind-farm investment: A choice experiment in the Greek Aegean Islands," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1842-1854, May.
    3. Kaldellis, J.K. & Kavadias, K.A. & Filios, A.E., 2009. "A new computational algorithm for the calculation of maximum wind energy penetration in autonomous electrical generation systems," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 86(7-8), pages 1011-1023, July.
    4. Tampakis, Stilianos & Τsantopoulos, Georgios & Arabatzis, Garyfallos & Rerras, Ioannis, 2013. "Citizens’ views on various forms of energy and their contribution to the environment," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 473-482.
    5. repec:gam:jsusta:v:7:y:2015:i:12:p:16670-16686:d:60775 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Stamatios Ntanos & Grigorios Kyriakopoulos & Miltiadis Chalikias & Garyfallos Arabatzis & Michalis Skordoulis, 2018. "Public Perceptions and Willingness to Pay for Renewable Energy: A Case Study from Greece," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(3), pages 1-16, March.
    7. Tampakis, Stilianos & Arabatzis, Garyfallos & Tsantopoulos, Georgios & Rerras, Ioannis, 2017. "Citizens’ views on electricity use, savings and production from renewable energy sources: A case study from a Greek island," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 39-49.
    8. Sofia-Despoina Papadopoulou & Niki Kalaitzoglou & Maria Psarra & Sideri Lefkeli & Evangelia Karasmanaki & Georgios Tsantopoulos, 2019. "Addressing Energy Poverty through Transitioning to a Carbon-Free Environment," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(9), pages 1-17, May.
    9. Vassiliki Vlami & Jan Danek & Stamatis Zogaris & Eirini Gallou & Ioannis P. Kokkoris & George Kehayias & Panayotis Dimopoulos, 2020. "Residents’ Views on Landscape and Ecosystem Services during a Wind Farm Proposal in an Island Protected Area," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(6), pages 1-18, March.
    10. Yuanyuan Gong & Deyong Song, 2015. "Life Cycle Building Carbon Emissions Assessment and Driving Factors Decomposition Analysis Based on LMDI—A Case Study of Wuhan City in China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(12), pages 1-17, December.
    11. Stamatios Ntanos & Grigorios Kyriakopoulos & Miltiadis Chalikias & Garyfallos Arabatzis & Michalis Skordoulis & Spyros Galatsidas & Dimitrios Drosos, 2018. "A Social Assessment of the Usage of Renewable Energy Sources and Its Contribution to Life Quality: The Case of an Attica Urban Area in Greece," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(5), pages 1-15, May.
    12. Zafirakis, D. & Kaldellis, J.K., 2009. "Economic evaluation of the dual mode CAES solution for increased wind energy contribution in autonomous island networks," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1958-1969, May.
    13. Tsantopoulos, Georgios & Arabatzis, Garyfallos & Tampakis, Stilianos, 2014. "Public attitudes towards photovoltaic developments: Case study from Greece," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 94-106.
    14. Chang, Chun-Ping & Dong, Minyi & Sui, Bo & Chu, Yin, 2019. "Driving forces of global carbon emissions: From time- and spatial-dynamic perspectives," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 70-80.
    15. Nishijima, Daisuke, 2017. "The role of technology, product lifetime, and energy efficiency in climate mitigation: A case study of air conditioners in Japan," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 340-347.
    16. Sierra, Jaime Cevallos, 2016. "Estimating road transport fuel consumption in Ecuador," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 359-368.
    17. Mulder, Peter & de Groot, Henri L.F. & Pfeiffer, Birte, 2014. "Dynamics and determinants of energy intensity in the service sector: A cross-country analysis, 1980–2005," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 1-15.
    18. Chaikaew, Pasicha & Hodges, Alan W. & Grunwald, Sabine, 2017. "Estimating the value of ecosystem services in a mixed-use watershed: A choice experiment approach," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 228-237.
    19. Löschel, Andreas & Pothen, Frank & Schymura, Michael, 2015. "Peeling the onion: Analyzing aggregate, national and sectoral energy intensity in the European Union," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(S1), pages 63-75.
    20. Liu, Duan & Tang, Runcheng & Xie, Jun & Tian, Jingjing & Shi, Rui & Zhang, Kai, 2020. "Valuation of ecosystem services of rice–fish coculture systems in Ruyuan County, China," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 41(C).
    21. Zhang, Shulin & Su, Xiaoling & Singh, Vijay P & Ayantobo, Olusola Olaitan & Xie, Juan, 2018. "Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) decomposition analysis of changes in agricultural water use: a case study of the middle reaches of the Heihe River basin, China," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 208(C), pages 422-430.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:envsyd:v:39:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s10669-018-9690-9. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.