IT infrastructure for supporting multidisciplinary urban planning

Fernando, Terence, Aouad, Ghassan, Fu, Changfeng and Yao, Jialiang (2009) IT infrastructure for supporting multidisciplinary urban planning. In: Designing Sustainable Cities. Blackwell, Oxford, UK, pp. 242-262. ISBN 9781405179157

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Abstract

Urban planning is a complex and multidisciplinary decision-making process,which is concerned with the complex management of change within the built and natural environment: it aims to plan the urban environment in terms of its physical, social, legal, economical, visual and environmental elements.The procedure of planning, in general, is considered to be an iterative process of problem definition, collecting and processing of complex information, exploration of potential designs, and evaluation of these designs according to set objectives, such as sustainability and enhanced quality of life of citizens (Adams, 1994). In recent years, sustainability of urban environments has been transformed from a rather vague and fuzzy notion of encompassing elements of social, economic and environmental friendliness into a more concrete and measurable theory for development and design evaluation.Various assessment frameworks for urban sustainability have been designed under the auspices of both European and UK legislation, such as the Environmental environmental impact assessment, the strategic environment assessment and the sustainability appraisal. Furthermore, a number of tool kits have been developed and enforced to aid in the completion of sustainability assessments, particularly within the UK context. For example, under Section 39(2) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, sustainability appraisal is mandatory for Regional Spatial Strategy revisions and for new or revised development plan documents and supplementary planning documents.As a result, the contemporary urban sustainability assessments have been shifting from environment-focused assessments (environmental impact assessments) to more systematic and comprehensive assessments with an integrated viewpoint of environment, society and economic, such as sustainability appraisal. In response to these new demands, today there are two key trends in sustainability assessments and analysis in the context of urban planning.The first trend is in the direction of rigorous quantitative assessments of statistical and geospatial data to analyse ‘quality of life’ indicators, by deploying advanced technologies such as databases and GIS. At present, numerous statistical data are available from many different sources such as national censuses, the the Office for National Statistics, local councils, commercial survey companies, and government departments.These statistical data usually contain rich information about population, the economy, society and the environment within different scopes at the local and national levels. However, such data are based on different geographical boundaries, such as super output areas, electoral wards, statistic wards and postcodes, making them difficult to synthesise within a common geospatial framework.Therefore the first part of this chapter shows how such disjointed datasets can be brought together within a unified information modelling framework to support the assessment of sustainable indicators.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Construction and engineering > Built environment
Depositing User: Charlie Fu
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2017 09:36
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2017 10:16
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/3187

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