Optimal allocation of recreational activities within a reservoir area utilizing topaz

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


TOPAZ, which is the Technique for the Optimal Placement of Activities in Zones, was developed to provide the urban planner with a workable tool from which he could determine the best allocation of a set of activities to a set of zones and at the same time minimize cost. The main objective of this research was to determine if TOPAZ could be applied to reservoir recreational planning, and if so, the methodology necessary for its use.

An example problem which includes a hypothetical reservoir with six zones and four key recreational activities is posed for the testing of the technique. The four key recreational activities being studied are swimming, picnicking, camping and boating. The model which was developed includes three cost components which are the establishment cost, the road cost and the cost of travel.

It is shown that the technique can be a powerful aid to the planner of water based recreational facilities.

Not only does the model give the planner a series of near optimal allocations of activities, but by the use of the sensitivity analysis the degree of accuracy to which the data should be collected can be determined, The model is also shown to be useful when applied to non-quantifiable type decisions.

The results and a discussion of the results are included along with a discussion of other possible applications of the technique as applied to recreational planning. The planner can refine the model to suit his own particular needs by modifying the data input and the associated constraint set.