The integration of different stakeholders’ perspectives when planning large-scale infrastructure projects such as power transmission lines is becoming increasingly important in the public debate. Partly conflicting interests of stakeholders should be taken into account in order to allow for best possible routing of new lines. Particularly when transmission lines which are bridging large distances are considered, externalities within this complex setting include social, ecological, economical and technical dimensions. An optimal routing of lines may help address different issues, such as public resistance. Models for the investigation of these large-area impacts for optimal route formation often only cover small regions or lack the georeferenced data necessary to quantify different criteria. We develop an open-source approach which allows for transparent and replicable route determination, tracing, and assessment covering the whole of Europe. Therefore, we provide several friction layers with high spatial resolution. Each layer represents a criterion affecting the routing of a power line. Together with the start and end point of a construction project, this allows for creating accumulated cost rasters for various relationships between the weightings of the perspectives which are relevant during line infrastructure routing processes. The present work explains the underlying methods of data collection, processing, and algorithms of data preparation, route generation, and assessment. Subsequently, this approach is verified with two case studies of HVDC transmission lines which are currently in the planning stages. All processed datasets and applied scripts described in this paper are open-access and made publicly available. Hence, this should support the current project routing debate by providing more transparency and by improving stakeholder involvement.
Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying