The role of spatial information for planning sustainable cities

S.M. Holtslag-Broekhof, R.B.M. van Marwijk

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Recently, the world has welcomed its 7 billionth inhabitant. It is expected that we will grow to9 billion persons by 2050. Currently, more than half the world lives in urban areas and urbanisation will continue in the future. Harvard economics professor Glaeser convincingly argues that populations can have magical consequences for business and innovation. At the same time we are aware of the environmental consequences of sprawling suburbs. Thus, sustainability is a core issue for today’s spatial planner. However, sustainability entails more than green architecture or re-using building materials (the planet aspect). A city should for example also be an attractive place to live (people aspect) with economic potential for its inhabitants (profit aspect). The practice of spatial planning greatly influences our environment. Where do we construct new houses? And what type of houses? Given the importance of cities, we argue that sustainability is a necessary mind-set of planners. In today’s network society geographic information has an increasingly important role to reach this mind-set. In this paper we want to research how spatial information may spur the discussion on planning sustainable cities. We do so by analysing cadastral, environmental, socio-economic and real estate data. Yet, the careful interpretation of geographic data into spatial information is essential for the quality of the final result. This is often underestimated by spatial planners. By means of a case study area (city of Apeldoorn, the Netherlands), we show how geographic information can be used in strategic decision making for sustainable city development. Six spatial visualisations (carbon dioxide emissions, liveability, house density, services, income, average dwelling value) of various sustainability aspects are used to show how geographic information can be used in spatial planning. It is concluded that spatial information can support decision-making in the planning process and help policy makers to identify possible alternatives for ‘unsustainable’ actions in the planning area. In order to interpret and use geographic data for sustainable development multidisciplinary cooperation is necessary
Original languageEnglish
Pages1-12
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventFIG working week; Knowing to manage the territory, protect the environment, evaluate the cultural heritage -
Duration: 6 May 201210 May 2012

Conference

ConferenceFIG working week; Knowing to manage the territory, protect the environment, evaluate the cultural heritage
Period6/05/1210/05/12

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    Holtslag-Broekhof, S. M., & van Marwijk, R. B. M. (2012). The role of spatial information for planning sustainable cities. 1-12. Paper presented at FIG working week; Knowing to manage the territory, protect the environment, evaluate the cultural heritage, . http://www.fig.net/pub/fig2012/papers/ts07g/TS07G_broekhof_vanmarwijk_5985.pdf