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Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) of remediation alternatives to access their overall impact and cost/benefit, with focus on soil function (ecosystem services and goods) and sustainability

The aim of the project is to demonstrate the use of multi-criteria analysis (MCA) in evaluating management and remediation alternatives to access their overall impact, with focus on soil function (ecosystem services and goods) and sustainability. As some aspects of soil function cannot be easily quantified in monetary terms, MCA offers a complementary approach in comparison to cost-benefit analysis (CBA). Maintained soil function is a key parameter in sustainable developments and the proposed project will demonstrate a method for including soil function and related geographical, cultural and soil use aspects of soil function into MCA.

The project will be based on studies of a few representative polluted sites provided via the EURODEMO network, and include a range of conventional and innovative remediation technologies and strategies, including soft, low cost on-site, harder hard on-site, and off-site alternatives. The impact of the remediation strategies on soil function will be assessed and used as input during the MCA. The analysis will utilize recent results regarding baseline levels for organic and metals pollutants and contaminants as well as input on fate of pollutants and contaminants on a regional scale (e.g. trough the Snowman PERSPEC and the FP6 AquaTerra projects). The deliverables of the proposed project will be aligned with the first topic of the SNOWMAN 2nd coordinated call, Area management of contamination, and targets the following questions listed in the scope of the call:

  • Which cost/benefit analyses can be applied with area management approaches of contaminated land?
  • How can we calculate the economical and societal costs for land use restrictions caused by contamination?

The above mentioned topics are of high interest according to the Funders’ priorities as described in table 2 on page 6 in the Applicants’ Guide. Additional questions will also be addressed, including:

  • What is the impact of remediation scenarios on soil function?
  • What are the consequences of geographical, cultural and soil use differences when ranking aspects of soil function?
  • What is the impact of geographical (e.g. soil properties and morphology) and climate (e.g. temperature and precipitation) differences on the outcome of different remediation scenarios?

Project leader: Magnus Bergknut
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Phone: är +46 (0) 90786 5182
Participants: Umeå University, Chalmers University of Technology, Umweltbundesamt, Vienna, Austria 

Project timeframe: Jan. 2010-Jan. 2013