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An effective spatial decision support system for landuse planning: With an example from forest management.

Hershey, Rachel Riemann (1992) An effective spatial decision support system for landuse planning: With an example from forest management. MPhil thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Landuse planning problems are becoming increasingly complex, as a population with expanding needs and desires is faced with a finite amount of land. The methodological needs of landuse planners to deal with these pressures are identified and discussed. Among others, these include the need to handle data spatially, to incorporate subjective criteria, multiple objectives, and the need to handle a wide variety of data in diverse contexts. The nature of the decision-making process and the landuse planning process are briefly described, revealing the important common elements, and revealing the needs of landuse planners with regard to the computer support of this process. Computer systems offer many of the capabilities required by landuse planners, automating what they already do and opening up new possibilities. Elements of information technology (IT) are identified and their advantages and limitations with respect to the landuse planning process are discussed. A Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) is proposed as a system that can improve landuse planning by providing a mechanism to handle many of the complexities. A federated system based on existing easy-to-use and user-modifiable packages is suggested as a means to incorporate just those elements of IT that are required, resulting in an SDSS that is inexpensive, easily understood and very flexible. Macintosh or Macintosh-like applications are used in the example system designed here because they are both very easy to use and often user-modifiable as the user gains confidence and expertise. An illustrative problem is taken from forest management and planning and an example federated system is designed for Thetford Forest District in East Anglia. This District is currently experimenting with the design and implementation of a scheme for restructuring the appearance and age dynamics of the forest and for rationally handling the many uses demanded of it. The problem, the organizational context and the users are all examined to determine the contents and design of a computer-based SDSS that would best assist the landuse planning and management process. The thesis establishes the need for and the practicality of spatial decision support in landuse planning, and demonstrates that by incorporating the capabilities of existing computer technology in a form that is accessible to landuse planners, the federated design for an SDSS is a means of providing effective support to the landuse planning process.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Land Use Planning, Natural Resource Management, Agriculture, Forestry and Wildlife
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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