Steven A. Gabriel

A Multiobjective Optimization Approach to Smart Growth in Land Development

Authors: Steven A. Gabriel,  Jose A. Faria, and Glenn E. Moglen (2010)
Synopsis: In this paper we describe a multiobjective optimization model of "Smart Growth" applied to land development in Montgomery County, Maryland. The term "Smart Growth" is generally meant to describe those land development strategies which do not result in urban sprawl, however the term is somewhat open to interpretation. The multiobjective aspects arise when considering the conflicting interests of the various stakeholders involved: the government planner, the environmentalist, the conservationist, and the land developer. We present a formulation, which employs linear and convex quadratic objective functions for the stakeholders that are subject to polyhedral and binary constraints. As such, the resulting optimization problems are convex, quadratic mixed integer programs which are known to be NP-complete (Mansini and Speranza, 1999). We report numerical results with this model and present these results using a geographic information system (GIS).


A Framework for Quantitative Smart Growth in Land Development

Authors: Glenn Moglen, Steven Gabriel, and Jose Faria (2003)
Synopsis: Increasing awareness about the problems brought on by urban sprawl has led to proactive measures to guide future development. Such efforts have largely been grouped under the term, Smart Growth. Although not widely recognized as such, the smart in Smart Growth implies an optimization of some quantity or objective while undertaking new forms of urban development. To illustrate a formal, quantitative framework for Smart Growth, this study develops definitions of optimal development from the perspectives of four different types of stakeholders: a government planner, a land developer, a hydrologist, and a conservationist subject to certain developmental constraints. Four different objective functions are posed that are consistent with each of these stakeholders’ perspectives. We illustrate the differences in consequences on future development given these different objective functions in a stylized representation for Montgomery County, Maryland. Solutions to Smart Growth from the individual perspectives vary considerably. Trade-off tables are presented which illustrate the consequences experienced by each stakeholder depending on the viewpoint that has been optimized. Although couched in the context of an illustrative example, this study emphasizes the need to apply rigorous, quantitative tools in a meaningful framework to address Smart Growth. The result is a tool that a range of parties can use to plan future development in ways that are environmentally and fiscally responsible and economically viable.