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GIS application for finding the best residential lands in Ratnapura municipal council area of Sri Lanka

Author Affiliations

  • 1Dept. of Surveying and Geodesy, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka
  • 2Department of Geography, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka
  • 3Department of Town and Country Planning, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

Int. Res. J. Earth Sci., Volume 5, Issue (10), Pages 11-22, November,25 (2017)


One of the most important and urgent problem in Ratnapura Municipal Council (RMC) is the level of higher vulnerability to natural hazards and calamities. This area has already been proved as vulnerable to floods, landslides, river bank failures, environmental and health hazards; hence hardly developed for residential purposes. The aim of this study is to develop a Geographic Information System (GIS) based model to assess suitable sites for residential developments. This case study incorporates three major steps for suitability analysis which includes, identifying the factors that are essential for residential site selection, weighting suitability factors and developing a suitability map and a model spatial analysis tool in GIS. Selecting suitability factors is mainly based on views of key informants, who are the experts of land use planning. Slopes, land use, distance to roads, distance to natural hazardous areas and distance to environmental sensitive areas were the selected factors in the analysis. Before determining potential suitable sites, the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) was applied to quantify the relative significance of each factor. Finally suitability map was created and it was found that 41.96 % (8.9 KM2) of the area is most suitable for residential development. Meanwhile this integration of GIS and AHP can be served as a decision support analysis for residential site selection for other local authorities also.


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