Spatial Consensus-building Through Access to Web-based GIS: An Online Planning Tool For Leipzig

Matthias Baxmann, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

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This paper examines how emerging information system technologies and consensus techniques can be integrated to overcome barriers to land use planning. Complex planning and decision making require close collaboration among many parties, yet communication and collaboration breakdowns are often at the heart of failed planning efforts. Among other factors, a lack of trust and inadequate institutional support for communication among stakeholders tend to hinder effective spatial planning. Recent developments in geographic information systems (GIS) and network technology can be combined to enhance communication among multiple stakeholders and their access to relevant information. To take advantage of the opportunities offered by these technologies, a framework that organizes and integrates stakeholders and technologies must be devised. This paper proposes a model that is based on an Internet client/server architecture and organized around a "hub institution." It describes the model's main components that facilitate joint planning among multiple stakeholders in a mediated online environment. It concludes with design recommendations for implementing such an online planning model.

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Grade Level: Graduate/Professional, College Upper (15-16), College Lower (13-14)