- Challenges of Spatial planning in the context of ICT: lessons from actual research projects – new frontiers for spatial planners and cities   click here to open paper content318 kb
by    Vancutsem, Didier | info@vancutsem.de   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The emergence of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) since the
90’s has profoundly modified our urban environment and the way spatial
planning was proceed in the past. This case study aims to demonstrate the
state-of-the-art of the relationship “ICT - Spatial Planning”, connected to
future frontiers of spatial planning.

In the past 250 years, the world experienced five major technological
revolutions, and each of these has been associated with a specific
technological innovation for man behaviour and the society, and
consequently habits, culture and cities.

The last revolution, the information technology revolution, consists into
the integration of digital technology and computers in our cities. It still
remains difficult to evaluate the effects of ICT on the organisation of the
Society and on spatial and urban planning, because of the very complex
topic, as the microelectronic revolution is still in process.

As a consequence of these changes, human being will get influence on the
spatial planning of our living environment in Europe and worldwide. Only as
an example, the European Union launched in 2010 the Digital Agenda for
Europe (DAE), which aims to reboot Europe's economy and help Europe's
citizens and businesses to get the most out of digital technologies.

Research question

The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has been under
constant development over the last decade and has become a standard today
in the European Urban and Spatial Planning context. Publishing information
via the internet, communicating via e-mail, chatting and using interactive,
real-time virtual reality to show the results of a planning process is the
planners new normal day. “e-planning” is another word for this development
with extended use of ICT in planning.

ICT, as a significant factor affecting spatial change, consequences can
often be rather surprising. This necessarily provides planners with some
challenging problems. Spatial change from the point of view of urban and
regional planning is always both an opportunity and a threat. Current on-
going changes however offer opportunities to use the new possibilities
inherent in ICT to enable regions, cities and rural areas to partake in new
types of development. New development trends can however also threaten the
future of these areas. Therefore planners have to find ways to try to
forestall such possible negative effects.

The Case Study will focus on the ICT policies, the challenges for spatial
planning today and in the future, and bring the results of several recent
research projects, including those where ISOCARP has been involved:
plan4all, Hlandata, plan4business.

The findings will demonstrate the role and the importance of ICT in the
urban and spatial planning, how planners have to deal today and tomorrow
with the Information Technologies, and which new research fields are today
important for universities and research institutions.
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