Technology in Planning and Participatory Processes: Identifying New Synergies through Real World Application - FY08 TechPlan

Principal Investigator(s):

Carissa Schively Slotterback, Former Associate Dean, Humphrey School of Public Affairs


  • John Hourdos, Former Research Associate Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering

Project summary:

This project 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, the definition of planning support systems is inclusive, 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. This project 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. It also highlights and categorizes a range of current technologies that can be used to supplement or enhance planning and participatory processes. In addition, the project 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 study concludes with a discussion of the findings of a practitioner survey about their perceptions of constraints and opportunities related to the implementation of technology in planning and participatory processes in their organizations.


Project details:

  • Project number: 2008061
  • Start date: 06/2007
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Environment and Energy
  • Topics: Data and modeling, Planning