Article : The social landscape of planning: Integrating social and perceptual research with spatial planning information
Robert L. Ryan. The social landscape of planning: Integrating social and perceptual research with spatial planning information. Landscape and Urban Planning, Volume 100, Issue 4, 30 April 2011, Pages 361-363
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During the past decades, there have been tremendous strides in the sophistication and power of analyzing, displaying, and interpreting spatial information, particularly Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The vast majority of this work has focused on the physical landscape where increasingly complex models are able to predict, describe, and assess the implications of future planning issues related to watersheds, urban growth, and other planning issues. However, this increasing sophistication in the power of landscape modeling remains disconnected from the sociopolitical realities of the communities and regions which are the subject of these studies. There is a research need to integrate public perceptions and attitudes with the type of information typically found in a landscape assessment. This essay reviews the different types of social and perceptual research that landscape planners have conducted and concludes with recommendations for research avenues that are necessary to describe the social landscape in spatial terms. Landscape planners in the future will need to know as much about the social landscape as they do the physical landscape before embarking on planning actions.
Keywords: Landscape perceptions; Social science research; Integrated landscape models