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How should the decisions related to public investment in cities projects be taken?. Some postulate the predominant view of the last century: the professionals and technicians are the most qualified to do so, and the population must not intervene in the process. Others speak of the need to incorporate citizen participation to the process for decision making. Multicriteria methods are an interesting and effective way of combining both views. Citizenship defines the respective criterias’ weigh to make the decision and set the relative importance of each of these variables together. Technicians are responsible for measuring how to qualify the alternatives based on defined criteria. The result is an objective process of setting priorities against multiple and conflicting options.

The Ribereña Highway is a flagship project for its importance to improve transportation and the conflicts that have been generated for more than 40 years. It has in fact not taken into practice even when this involves significant problems for the city such as the movement of cargo in one of the more recent urban development areas, also risks associated with the transport of dangerous substances on streets where there are pedestrians and other modes of mobility and finally a severe impact on urban congestion due to the amount of through traffic on the axis South - North that to cross the city has another option that make it into conflict with the local city transit.

In this Lab, we measure the most important alternative traces for the highway rating but we leave you, the visitors, the responsibility to give their opinion to establish the prioritization criteria. Throughout the history various traces of the Highway have studied, the combinations have reached up to thirty (30) possible traces, considering where the Highway can go and if doing so in different sections at ground level, high (on viaduct) or a tunnel under the Earth (like a subway or metro). In general terms these traces can be summarized in nine (9) major traces that are those present in infographic of Figure 1 below.


We invite you to participate with your opinion comparing a pair the six (6) main decision criteria (urban development; Economy; Transport; Environment; Safety; and feasibility) and discovering which of the nine (9) alternatives of the trace for the Ribereña Highway is the one that best fits your way of thinking. Then, you can also discover what other people who have participated in this Lab think.


Figure 1. Interactive infographic with nine (9) key criteria to prioritize, comparing them by pairs, the result obtained with our complex multicriteria model, and the characteristics of each of the trace.

While it may seem obvious that those who will enjoy the benefits, or suffer the consequences, should be the ones to have a say in the decision, to implement this vision is extremely complicated. Multicriteria methods are one of the best ways to allow this participation to be done in an orderly manner, without losing sight of the objectives, keeping it consistent, avoiding contradictions, and facilitating consensus while providing greater transparency of information.

Making decisions in large cities is becoming more complex, but also more urgent. The search for rational ways that include the diversity of opinions should be a priority. At BerecoLabs we are developing useful approaches to think the future of cities and how to use better technology for the specific challenges of the reality in the coming years.