GIS in Landscape Planning

Matthias Pietsch

Anhalt University of Applied Science


1. Introduction

Landscape planning supports sustainable development by creating planning prerequisites that will enable future generations to live in an ecological intact environment (Bfn, 2002). It breeds to a full-coverage strategy with the aim of maintaining landscape and nature as well as facilitating municipal and industrial development (von Haaren, 2004; BfN 2002). Contrary to the design approach (McHarg, 1969) it has been developed to an institutionalized planning system based on analytical processes (Schwarz – v. Raumer & Stokman, 2011). Objectives will be derived from scientifically based analysis and normative democratically legitimized goals (Riedel & Lange, 2001; Jessel & Tobias, 2002; von Haaren, 2004 a. o.).

Existing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) offer the needed capabilities concerning the whole planning cycle (Harms et al., 1993; Blaschke, 1997; von Haaren, 2004; Pietsch & Buhmann, 1999; Lang & Blaschke, 2007; a. o.). Data capturing for inventory purpose, scientific-based analysis, defining objectives, scenarios and alternative futures and planning measures can be carried out by using GIS (Schwarz-v. Raumer, 2011; Ervin, 2010; Steinitz, 2010; Flaxman, 2010). For the implementation and sometimes necessary updates environmental information systems can be developed for specific purpose (Zolitz-Moller, 1999; Lang & Blaschke, 2007). Nowadays required models (e. g. process, evaluation, decision) can be defined and interchanged for different scopes (Schaller & Mattos, 2010). The technical evolution of hard – and software enable planners and designers to improve participation processes and decision-making using visualization and WebGIS-technologies (Warren – Kretzschmar & Tiedtke, 2005; Paar, 2006; Lange, 1994; Wissen, 2009; Bishop et al., 2010; Buhmann & Pietsch, 2008a and b; Pietsch & Spitzer, 2011; Richter, 2009; Lipp, 2007). Transforming the existing planning process to a process-oriented one with new ways of interaction technical enhancements are necessary as well as a new planning and design style (Ervin, 2011). Therefore teaching methods must be changed to a more process – and workflow oriented thinking (Steinitz, 2010; Ervin, 2011) using the advantages of the different software tools like GIS, CAD, visualization and Building Information Models (BIM) (Flaxman, 2010). GeoDesign as a "new" term had been discussed the last years. While some planners contribute that they are doing this for years (Schwarz-v. Raumer & Stokman, 2011) requirements had been defined for a more collaborative and process-oriented planning (Francica, 2012; Ervin, 2011; Steinitz; 2010; Flaxman, 2010; Dangermond, 2009, 2010).

In this paper the different terms will be explained and the special German definition of landscape planning will be described. Based on this definition the use of GIS in the different

working steps will be described and useful methods (e. g. habitat suitability analysis) will be explained. The needs for standardization and existing information management will be discussed and future improvements realizing the GeoDesign framework will be shown.