Planning Support Systems: from universal solutions to local planning method. The case of planning practitioners in Andalusia.

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Irene Luque-Martín
Edda Bild
Jorge Izquierdo-Cubero
Antonio Piñero Valverde
Victoriano Sainz Gutiérrez


Processes of urban transformation and technological advances are leading to drastic changes in urban environments and to novel local challenges for urban planners. Scientific research is exploring the potential of various technologies to support planning and Planning Support Systems (PSS) have been proposed as strategies to improve current planning practices. PSS are not without their critics, both from academia and practice, who dispute their usefulness and usability, and they have so far been scarcely implemented in practice, with limited success. Using a case study approach, we report on the findings of in-depth interviews with practitioners in Andalusia, Spain, focusing on the main planning challenges that respondents identify in their work and how technology can help address them. We identified three main challenges: developing an adaptable general plan, improving current public participation processes and encouraging interdisciplinary dialogue. Each planning challenge is understood to have different technological needs (if any at all), that indicates a strong relationship between reported planning challenges, the use of technologies and the planning context. This shows the need to reevaluate mainstream approaches to PSS, shifting from the development of generalized, transferable PSS to context-based approaches that focus on methodologies for collecting situated knowledge on local planning challenges, which could lead to specially-tailored PSS.


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Luque-MartínI., BildE., Izquierdo-CuberoJ., ValverdeA., & GutiérrezV. (2017). Planning Support Systems: from universal solutions to local planning method. The case of planning practitioners in Andalusia. UPLanD - Journal of Urban Planning, Landscape & Environmental Design, 2(1), 39-47.


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