PlanYourPlace is an interdisciplinary project that proposes to build an open source structure of modern web-based solutions to support planning practice that engages communities. Through collaboration with municipal, regional and provincial governments we seek to invigorate urban planning practices that favour sustainable economic, environmental, social, and cultural development through the creation of interactive, participatory based geomatics tools for long range forecasting and education. Our collaboration of geomatics engineers, urban planners and designers, and transportation engineers will focus on developing web based geographic information system (Geoweb) tools that promote the fundamentals of responsible and ethical sustainable planning practices.

The vehicle for the development of these tools is the “middle ring” of Calgary neighbourhoods that were constructed during the 1950s to 1970s and that are currently experiencing redevelopment pressures. The City of Calgary advocates higher densities, a greater mix of uses, and reconsideration of land uses to achieve its goals of sustainability, however these qualities are often perceived negatively by residents. Transitioning this part of Calgary is complex, and requires a holistic approach to urban development and for innovative and inclusive public participation in the planning process.

The geospatial cyber-infrastructure proposed in this project is intended to provide new tools for urban planning process: (i) through development of a rich web-based tool to help citizens, developers and elected officials visualize possible scenarios and their anticipated effects (analysis focus); (ii) by developing sketch friendly tools to create alternative plans and then estimate the fiscal, environmental, and social impacts, etc. (design focus); and (iii) extend participatory GIS to support a two-way dialog between citizens and planners about communities and their future.The prototype solution developed during this project will enable users of the system to understand more clearly the implications and benefits of various planning and development objectives and to participate in meaningful ways, and is intended to lead to the identification of appropriate solutions that can be used to inform future development, and against which users can measure the impact of policies aimed at making a region more sustainable.

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