It was Professor Kleefmann who in 1984 gave the methodological impetus to "planning as reconnaissance". The present dissertation "Computer use in regional planning" investigates how this interpretation of regional planning can be supported by a computerized information-processing system.
The first of the four fields of interest dealt with in this thesis is an elaboration of this interpretation of planning, which elucidates the demand for information of a "planning actor", who wishes to conduct reconnaissance research. The demand for information is characterized by three main activities within this interpretation of planning (envisioning, generating the plan and deciding), four types of mode) (interpretive, normative, formal and concrete) and four categories of knowledge (normative, objective, knowledge of methods and knowledge of process). The knowledge categories are used by the actor for the interpretation and construction of these types of model during the main activities of the planning. Subsequently, the problems that can occur when these categories of knowledge are acquired and used are indicated. These problems are based on aspects of information transfer in general, and on the availability, accessibility and usefulness of model types in particular.
The problems identified lead to the hypothesis that they can be solved by describing the planning in "moments of action". A moment of action is a simple relation between knowledge of methods, and of objective and normative knowledge, in addition to which the method adopted determines the distinction into moments of action. It appears to be desirable to apply computerized information-processing systems to this.
The second field of interest also deals with the characteristics and potential of information- processing systems and the ways these can be adopted to operationalize the reconnaissance. Aspects investigated include the various types of information system (for registering, for monitoring and for generating the plan) and the software and data structures that these are based on. The latter two aspects are worked out in detail for geographical information systems (GIS). This reveals that there is potential for providing support (particularly for the main activity of plan generation) in the series of planning systems that are based on the characteristics of GIS.
The third field of interest is to do with the definition and implementation of the prototype of an information-processing system to support plan generation: RISOR. The essential feature of RISOR is the distinction between an action-oriented subsystem and a knowledge-oriented subsystem. The former is used to perform and record the actual actions within the planning procedure. The latter administers the recorded actions and these become available for transfer, by selection and reuse. The actionoriented subsystem is largely based on the potential of the GIS software. A relational database and associated software for selecting the data administered in that databank have been developed for the knowledge-oriented subsystem. The structure of the database is based on a massive data model, whose design was determined by three categories of knowledge (normative, process and objective) and their interrelations.
The fourth field of interest is an illustration of the potential applications of RISOR during the generation of a plan, using a hypothetical planning assignment. Examples of the interactive use of the action-oriented subsystem, administration using the knowledge-oriented subsystem and the combined use of both systems are discussed. In the last case attention is also given to the computerized generation of a plan. During the interactive use the planning actor primarily uses all the options in the action-oriented subsystem available via the GIS software, in order to perform the various actions involved in generating the plan. The computerized registration of these actions is therefore an important prerequisite. The registered actions can subsequently be administered via the knowledge-oriented subsystem.
The administered actions can be used in similar processes of plan generation. This can be done interactively, for which the actor uses the action-oriented subsystem to combine consulting the knowledge-oriented subsystem and performing actions. In this case, the actions can be implemented via the computer as well as interactively.
Finally, the potential of this system is compared with Kleefmann's contentions about the application of computers during reconnaissance. From this it is concluded that RISOR largely fulfils these contentions. New hypotheses are then put forward in relation to RISOR's significance for various quantitative aspects of plan design (acquisition of digital data, time saving, and continuing computerization) and also for some qualitative aspects (collaboration with several actors, the learning process and theory generation in planology). The only way to test these hypotheses is to actually apply RISOR in various planning assignments.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Award date||25 Feb 1994|
|Place of Publication||S.l.|
|Publication status||Published - 1994|
- physical planning
- geographical information systems