The Use of GIS for Land Use Planning: Recommendations for PPGIS in the United States

Nichole Hugo, David Viertel
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GIS (Geographic Information Systems) provide the ability to present multifaceted data in a clear and understandable manner, enabling various stakeholders to be informed and actively participate in discussions about future changes to land use. The use of GIS allows for the analysis of complex spatial and temporal data, aiding in community planning and development, resource conservation, and efficient land utilization. While GIS resources have become more accessible in recent years, land use planners in the US have not fully utilized this tool in regards to engaging the public and gaining their feedback in the planning process. In contrast, European countries like Finland and Poland continuously use PPGIS (Public Participation Geographic Information Systems) and publish their processes frequently. A literature review of PPGIS publications from 2015-2023 provides an overview of the limitations of PPGIS and the barriers for use, including lack of participation and limited funding. A review of the literature, as well as an analysis of the impact of the COVID pandemic, are used to determine best practices for incorporating PPGIS into land use planning processes in the US. Recommendations for improving the use of PPGIS in the US include utilizing training programs, active participation in community meetings, and using multiple methods to engage the public.


PPGIS, Land use planning, public participation

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