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UBC Theses and Dissertations

GIS land use modeling in the context of consensus-based regional planning: the development of a GIS-based land use model for Greater Vancouver Armstrong, Michelle Louise


There is a need for better information and an understanding of the process of land use change for effective planning in the Greater Vancouver region. Achieving this understanding is challenging due to the multiple public sector organizations setting land use and infrastructure planning policy in the region. A review of literature and interviews with representatives of public sector planning organizations in Greater Vancouver reveals that a region-wide, GIS-based, land use computer simulation model can provide the information infrastructure for increasing understanding as well as developing shared learning and enhancing communication and coordination between the numerous planning organizations. In order to do this, the model structure should take advantage of advances in GIS technology and the modeling process must be open and participatory to ensure a successful modeling project. More specifically, seven guiding principles are recommended for the development of a GIS-based land use model for Greater Vancouver. These principles define the key elements that a successful modeling project for Greater Vancouver should either contain or address: (1) Should be flexible and adaptable (2) Should be 'understandable' (3) Should be methodologically sound in that the results should be the logical extension of the inputs (4) Should consider the entire functional region (5) Should have an open and participatory process for development (6) Should have clear objectives for the project (7) Planners should be involved in the modeling process Overall, the most important principle to consider is the need for an open and participatory process for development. An open process creates shared learning, acceptance of the model results, and a forum in which stakeholders can explore and debate ideas and alternative futures.

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