Reshaping the planning process using local experiences: Utilising PPGIS in participatory urban planning

Project description

The object of the thesis of Maarit Kahila-Tani was to study the potential of PPGIS tools to support participatory urban planning. The research analysed a set of SoftGIS and other PPGIS studies conducted during the period 2004-2015 in varying research and urban planning projects in Finland. The thesis adopted a normative approach to the question of how various PPGIS tools could be embedded more securely into the urban planning process. The thesis constructed a heuristic conceptual model for a participatory planning support system (PPSS), based on the experiences of applying PPGIS tools.

The central observations of this thesis reflect the numerous ways in which PPGIS tools and experiential knowledge can support planning during the different stages of the planning process and in relation to different planning tasks. At best, PPGIS methods can produce multifaceted information, especially in the early phases of the planning process. Data gathering however remains effectively characterised as singular interventions to harness specific information for the direct purposes of the ongoing planning task. Embedding this experiential knowledge more fully into the planning system currently rests almost exclusively on the shoulders of individual planners. Grafting PPSS onto the planning system requires a rather more strategic approach to participation.

Research themes

Participatory planning

Project details

  • Start date:
    January 1, 2010
  • End date:
    December 31, 2015
  • Location:
    Helsinki, Vaasa, Sipoo, Kerava, Nurmijärvi, Mäntsälä, Tuusula
  • Funded by:
    The Doctoral Programme in the Built Environment (RYM)
  • Objectives:
    To study the potential of PPGIS tools to support participatory urban planning

Project contact

Maarit Kahila-Tani

Participating partners

Marketta Kyttä

Aalto University

Anna Broberg

Aalto University

Susa Eräranta

City of Sipoo

Heli Rantanen

City of Helsinki

Anne-Marie Sanving-Knudsen

Aalborg Universitet Institut for Arkitektur, Design og Medieteknologi

Pilvi Nummi-Sund

City of Sipoo

Taylor Tyger

Aalto University

Related publications

Kahila-Tani, M., Broberg, A., Kyttä, M., & Tyger, T. (2015). Let the citizens map – Public participation GIS as a planning support system in the Helsinki 2050 master planning process. Planning Practice & Research 13, 195-214. doi.org/10.1080/02697459.2015.1104203

Sanving-Knudsen, A.-M., & Kahila, M. (2012). The role of Volunteered Geographic Information in participatory planning. Examples from Denmark and Finland. Geoforum Perspektiv 11(21), 35-46. journals.aau.dk/index.php/gfp/article/download/488/399

Kyttä, M., Kahila, M., & Broberg, A. (2011). Perceived environmental quality as an input to urban infill policy-making. Urban Design International 16(1), 19-35. doi.org/10.1057/udi.2010.19

Rantanen, H., & Kahila, M. (2009). The SoftGIS approach to local knowledge. Journal of Environmental Management 90(6), 1981-1990. doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2007.08.025

Kahila-Tani, M. (2015). Reshaping the planning process using local experiences: Utilising PPGIS in participatory urban planning. Aalto University publication series Doctoral Dissertations, 223/2015. aaltodoc.aalto.fi/bitstream/handle/123456789/19347/isbn9789526066042.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

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