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A Spatial Approach to Participatory Planning in Forestry Decision Making

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A method is introduced in which qualitative information obtained in a public participation process is transformed into quantitative spatial decision support for forest management planning. In the first phase, qualitative analysis is implemented by using the tools of qualitative research analysis. Then, a method is developed whereby it is possible to connect the expressed opinions to certain locations, to weight these opinions in a sensible way, and then to combine them in the form of a score map. In this phase, geographic information system (GIS) and preference analysis tools were used. The case study, carried out in the area managed by the Finnish Forest and Park Service, illustrates how to pack huge amounts of unstructured public feedback as decision support. The result of the analysis was a score map ranking pixels in the study area according to the aggregated preferences and norms expressed by public. Based on the case study experiences, it was concluded that most of this kind of public feedback can be illustrated for decision makers by using a few score maps.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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