Technology in Planning and Participatory Processes: Identifying New Synergies through Real World Application


Carissa Schively Slotterback, John Hourdos

February 2009

Report no. CTS 09-09

This report provides a discussion of findings from a study of the application of planning support systems (PSS) to typical participatory processes. For the purposes of this study, we are inclusive in our definition of planning support systems, addressing all types of technology that might be used in the preparation, execution, and analysis of participatory planning processes and outcomes. The overall intent of the study is to develop an understanding of how to tailor technologies to the unique aspects of various types of participation efforts used in planning practice. The report outlines some important background information related to the use of various types of technologies in participatory processes, including the challenges and opportunities associated with their use. The report also highlights and categorizes a range of current technologies that can be used to supplement or enhance planning and participatory processes. In addition, the report summarizes the findings of a series of five focus groups conducted with planners, engineers, and other practitioners related to participation processes and the application of technology. Finally, the report concludes with a discussion of the findings of survey or practitioners related to their perceptions of constraints and opportunities related to the implementation of technology in planning and participatory processes in their organizations.

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