2nd International Conference on GeoComputation

Simulation Tools for Transparent Decision Making in Environmental Planning

Cédric Grueau, Armanda Rodrigues

Centro Nacional de Informação Geográfica
R. Braamcamp, 82 - 5º Esq
1250 Lisboa - Portugal
Tel: ++ 351 (1) 3860011 - Fax: 351-1-3862877

Email: (cedric;armanda)@cnig.pt

Presented at the second annual conference of GeoComputation ‘97 & SIRC ‘97, University of Otago, New Zealand, 26-29 August 1997


The planning and territorial management process is often disparaged and subjected to criticism based on the way environmental decisions are taken. The lack of transpar-ency and the high technical level of the Environmental Im-pact Assessment process do not ease public agreement. The increasing development in Geographical Information technologies has helped the construction of GIS-based Spatial Decision Support Systems (SDSS) enabling ‘multi-purpose planning’. The SDSS example presented below shows the potential for integration of several levels of involvement around an open platform aiming at a more scientific and shared decision in environmental planning. However, the development of this environmental SDSS has lead to the identification of a major need for an engage-ment effort towards the structuring and normalisation of the information to be created and published. It has be-come necessary to develop methodologies that will en-able the systematisation, modelling, quantification and quali-fication of geographic space. This paper proposes that the definition of minimal geographic elements and the conceptualisation of geographical space into such descrip-tion components leads to the creation of structures which allow for the thorough application of spatial analysis in environmental planning.