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Intentional actions, plans, and information systems

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If urban development plans were just target patterns to be achieved, conventional data structures in Geographic information systems (GIS) would be sufficient. Urban development plans have a strong spatial component, but recent literature in planning emphasizes that plans are about actions and relationships among them. These relationships include interdependence, substitutability, priority, and parthood. In order to support planning, GIScience should devise data structures and queries to support reasoning with these relationships. This article shows how relationships encoded within each of a set of plans, using a recently developed data model, can be used to infer the relationships of actions among these plans. Simple databases and use cases based on real situations in McHenry County, Illinois are used to demonstrate that these relationships can be encoded and queried. The results demonstrate that previously discovered semantic relationships can be used to discover additional relationships across plans, thereby enriching the decision making. The approach provides a systematic way of structuring the information in plans to support making and using plans.
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Keywords: interdependence; planning support systems; plans; substitutability

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of City and Regional Planning,University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill,NC, USA 2: Department of Urban and Regional Planning,University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Champaign,IL, USA

Publication date: 01 March 2012

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