Marxan site selection tool
The Marxan site selection tool helps to weigh the costs and benefits associated with various site selection options.
Originally developed to help identify the most suitable sites for Marine Protected Areas, BALTSPACE will utilize this tool in spatial decision-making in MSP. For its application in MSP, targets for the area are defined and spatial data for existing uses and ecological features, that support the targets collected. Costs or conflicts associated with a use at a specific spatial unit are identified and collected as well. The information on targets, supporting features and costs is fed as data into the Marxan software. The tool enables planners to compare costs and benefits of different options for spatial designations and, thereby, make “optimal” site selections. The image below shows the results of one scenario for applying Marxan for site selection for offshore wind farms. In this case, the target was energy production supported by wind availability. As spatially varying costs, foundation and cable length were used and nature protection, shipping and the visual obstruction close to the coast as conflicts.
Marxan delivers a systematic approach and a transparent methodology. Furthermore, a huge variety of planning scenarios can be saved and repeatedly accessed. Marxan is useful for the planning phase as well as for displaying and discussing different options with stakeholders.