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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The uses of graphics in planning Farevaag, Marta


Practicing planners spend a substantial portion of their time and budgets preparing and using planning graphics. Yet very little literature exists within the planning field which attempts to investigate the uses of graphics for the profession. Hence, the thesis sets out an introductory framework for applying both current planning practices and knowledge about graphics from other fields to the role of graphics in the planning process. Current planning practices were investigated in a series of interviews with representatives of two groups in the Vancouver area: planners and graphic artists who prepare the bulk of their work for planning purposes. The information obtained in these interviews is presented in detailed form in Chapter 1 and is summarized and analyzed in Chapter 2. The literature on graphics was reviewed for those aspects which seem suggestive for planning applications. In Chapter 3, general theories which discuss the role of graphics in cognitive processes and in the communication of ideas are presented. Theories relating to the functions of various elements in graphics are the subject matter of Chapter 4. Specifically, principles of perceptual psychology, colour theory, typography, the use of symbols, and the choice of appropriate graphic media are investigated. Finally, a number of conclusions are drawn regarding both the current graphic practices within the planning profession and the theoretically optimal use of graphics., The conclusions are, therefore, related both to the topics discussed in the interviews and to the review of relevant literature. Furthermore, these conclusions suggest a variety of improvements in both planning practice and education.

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