Using InVEST on multiple scenarios of policy in different locations

Hi everyone. I’ve used InVEST modeling for my undergraduate thesis in showing how different scenarios of development impact ecosystem services for a specific site (audience was for developers to show the importance of preservation of ES). Now in my Masters, I’m thinking of finishing my degree exploring policy implementation impacts on ES… I wanted to compare different cities policies. Through InVEST, it seems standard to just look at one specific place and track potential scenarios and how that affects/impacts ES. Would it be possible to compare policies within cities to each other? Or would it be incomparable? Trying to understand the limitations of quantifying ecosystem services. Thank you for your help.

Hi @eoertel13,

Yes, it is very common to evaluate multiple potential scenarios for a single place, and usually these scenarios will represent the real-world effects of various policies so that decision-makers can more easily evaluate the tradeoffs between the predicted effects of the policies.

For your question, though, are you hoping to clarify how you might create scenarios from the proposed policies? Or are you wondering about how you could compare policies across different cities?

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Thanks for the reply! @jdouglass

Hopefully I can explain this well over this forum. My goal is to analyze cities that have Urban Growth Boundaries and compare them to those who don’t to determine whether UGBs actually protect ES and the associated natural capital. I haven’t narrowed down the scope much… I have two ideas of going about this. The first includes comparing cities that have UGBs to those who don’t (there will be some sort of consistency in this - population size, etc.). Secondly, compare cities to each other before and after the UGB implementation; however, I feel that this might be limiting due to the rapid growth of human population within cities over the last 50 years or so.

Let me know if you have any thoughts.

Nice! Well, both of those things sound like interesting studies. As far as possibly using InVEST is concerned, it sound like the main concern there will be representing each of your scenarios in ways that can be modeled by InVEST. Usually the details of this are pretty dependent on your area and analysis, of course. Anyways, not sure if this is helpful, but feel free to let us know if there’s something specific we can help with!

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