© 1993 Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning
Locational Models, Geographic Information and Planning Support Systems
Geographic information systems (GIS) are becoming widespread in management and planning, affecting the very organization and operation of the planning process itself. In this paper we address the problems and potential of such systems, particularly in relation to the analytical, predictive, and prescriptive models on which strategic planning processes are based. Current GIS are not rooted in the sorts of functions which drive these processes and here we will identify the difficulties and possibilities for developing more appropriate GIS which are sensitive to the simulation, optimization, and design activities which define spatial planning. To this end we will describe the development of planning support systems (PSS) in which a wide array of data, information, and knowledge might be structured, and within which GIS develop ment must take place. We will identify the sorts of urban system and locational models which characterize strategic planning and whose data-demands might be accommodated using GIS. Our critique of GIS is positive and constructive in that we are concerned to embed GIS into planning processes in the most appropriate way. In conclusion we will identify a series of requirements which PSS must meet.