How Does GIS Contribute to Urban Planning?

Applied Tech Review | Thursday, November 18, 2021

Summary: A geographic information system (GIS) is a computer system used to collect, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and show various spatial and geographical data.

FREMONT, CA: Cities are enormously complicated systems that are constantly developing. Responsible growth demands extensive, nuanced, and continually updated spatial information, as well as the problem-solving abilities to use that information. Geographic information science and technology (GIST) has proven beneficial to urban planners in addressing this dilemma.

Spatial data demonstrates the path to enhancing human well-being and establishing sustainable communities. At the same time, geographic information science (GIS) specialists apply spatial thinking to translate that data into meaningful insight and solutions.

The Role of GIS in Urban Planning

One of the reasons GIS is critical in urban planning is that it enables a better understanding of a city's existing needs and then designing to meet those demands. Users acquire a thorough perspective on land and infrastructure by analyzing geospatial data via satellite imaging, aerial photography, and remote sensors. As urban populations continue to grow and spread, the value of GIS is in its ability to compile the massive amounts of data required to balance competing goals and solve complex challenges, such as maximizing new building location or determining the viability of a waste disposal site.

These sophisticated techniques assist planners in comprehending the requirements of densely populated places, but they also adapt to the examination of smaller towns and even informal settlements. The ability to perform several queries and analytics on GIS data enables specialists to assess how new buildings will integrate with existing infrastructure and comply with regulatory requirements. Users may uncover chances for resource optimization by determining the optimal locations for solar, wind, or geothermal energy harvesting.

GIS technology enables urban planners to gain a better understanding of their data. They track changes over time, assess the viability of proposed initiatives, and forecast their environmental impact. Additionally, GIS software can display all essential stakeholders exactly how the changes on the ground will appear; assisting them in making more informed decisions. For instance, GIS software may provide representations of an area's current environmental conditions and enable users to compare the expected outcomes of proposed development plans.

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