Introducing spatial variability to the impact significance assessment

Rusne Šileryte, Jorge Lopes Gil, Alexander Wandl, Arjan van Timmeren

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)


The concept of Circular Economy has gained momentum during the last decade. Yet unsustainable circular systems can also create unintended social, economic and environmental damage. Sustainability is highly dependent on a system’s geographical context, such as location of resources, cultural acceptance, economic, environmental and transport geography. While in some cases an impact of the proposed change may be considered equally significant under all circumstances (e.g. increase of carbon emissions as a main contributor to the global climate change), many impacts may change both their direction and the extent of significance dependent on their context (e.g. land consumption may be positively evaluated if applied to abandoned territories or negatively if a forest needs to be sacrificed). The geographical context, (i.e. its sensitivity, vulnerability or potential) is commonly assessed by Spatial Decision Support Systems. However, currently those systems typically do not perform an actual impact assessment as impact characteristics stay constant regardless of location. Likewise, relevant Impact Assessment methods, although gradually becoming more spatial, assume their context as invariable. As a consequence, impact significance so far is also a spatially unvarying concept. However, current technological developments allow to rapidly record, analyse and visualise spatial data. This article introduces the concept of spatially varying impact significance assessment, by reviewing its current definitions in literature, and analysing to what extent the concept is applied in existing assessment methods. It concludes with a formulation of spatially varying impact significance assessment for innovation in the field of impact assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeospatial Technologies for All
Subtitle of host publicationSelected Papers of the 21st AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science
EditorsAli Mansourian, Petter Pilesjö, Lars Harrie, Ron van Lammeren
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-78208-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-78207-2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventAGILE 2018: 21st AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science - Lund, Sweden
Duration: 12 Jun 201815 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography
Volumepart F3
ISSN (Print)1863-2351


ConferenceAGILE 2018: 21st AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project

Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Impact significance assessment
  • Impact significance determination
  • Spatial decision support
  • Spatial differentiation


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