Symposium Goal

Researchers and practitioners of urban planning have had a variable interest in developing and applying methods of public participation since the 1970s, when the rational model of planning started to be criticized as technocratic, top-down, and separated from communities. The interest in methods accelerated in the mid-1990s, accompanied by the developments in public participation geographic information systems (PPGIS) and participatory GIS (PGIS). The arrival of Web2 in 2000s and improvements in geographic information technologies resulted in the proliferation of geographically related tools and Web services (Geoweb) for individuals and groups. Developments in P/PGIS, volunteered geographic information (VGI), and Geoweb have been recently paralleled by the growth of holistic approach to public participation in urban planning exemplified by Geodesign – a process relying on geographic digital methods and tools for integrating analysis, evaluation, design and public involvement in urban and regional planning. Despite much interest in participatory methods rooted in mapping and visualization of geographical data, there has not been a gathering of scholars in P/PGIS, VGI, Geoweb, and Geodesign sharing their research and learning from one another. The symposium Modern Methods and Tools for Public Participation in Urban Planning 2017 will offer an opportunity for scholars to critically discuss methodological underpinnings of geographically-explicit participatory methods in urban planning and share their experiences with applications in realistic planning settings. The format of the symposium with fewer papers than at many larger conferences will provide an ample time for meaningful discussion and offer an opportunity to foster future research collaborations.