Building a Geographic Information System (GIS) for Siting New York City Sludge Management Facilities

by Peter Gyulavary, Stone and Webster Engineering Corp, New York, United States,
Alfonso Lopez, Stone and Webster Engineering Corp, New York, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Civil Engineering Applications of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems


Siting studies for waste facilities usually focus on a particular geographic region, or a defined study area, and are restricted to a specific technology. However, the siting of land-based sludge management facilities for New York City required the development of a siting methodology that would be applicable to an undefined study area and a range of processing/final end use technologies. Technologies included those that beneficially reuse sludge and those that dispose of it. In order to integrate a number of technology options, and combinations of technologies, the search for potential sites was split; into siting within and outside the City. Similar to other waste management siting studies, a hierarchical, stepwise, top-down approach was used to delineate those sites/areas appearing more desirable via application of environmental/engineering criteria. However, due to the greater intensity of land use in the City's urban environment and its surrounding metropolitan region, as opposed to the regional land use patterns in the remainder of New York State, different siting methodologies were tailored to account for these differences. Urban and regional approaches were developed using mapping at differing levels of magnitude as an aid to reducing the study area. Layers of mapped criteria were reconciled by building a computerized GIS database, so that the most desirable areas could be identified.

Subject Headings: Geographic information systems | Information systems | Information management | Urban areas | Sludge | Management methods | Land use | Mapping | New York City | New York | United States

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