Fuzzy clustering analysis in environmental impact assessment - A complement tool to environmental quality index


In spite of rapid progress achieved in the methodological research underlying environmental impact assessment (EIA), the problem of weighting various parameters has not yet been solved. This paper presents a new approach, fuzzy clustering analysis, which is illustrated with an EIA case study on Baoshan-Wusong District in Shanghai, China. Fuzzy clustering analysis may be used whenever a composite classification of environmental quality/impact incorporates multiple parameters. In such cases the technique may be used as a complement or an alternative to comprehensive assessment. In fuzzy clustering analysis, the classification is determined by a fuzzy relation. After a fuzzy similarity matrix has been established and the fuzzy relation stabilized, a dynamic clustering chart can be developed. Given a suitable threshold, the appropriate classification can be accomplished. The methodology is relatively simple and the results can be interpreted to provide valuable information to support decision making and improve management of the environment. © 1993 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Publication Title

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment