Participatory GIS for Integrating Local and Expert Knowledge in Landscape Planning

Participatory GIS for Integrating Local and Expert Knowledge in Landscape Planning

Biancamaria Torquati (University of Perugia, Italy), Marco Vizzari (University of Perugia, Italy) and Carlo Sportolaro (Agronomist, Perugia, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2038-4.ch087
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This chapter describes the development and implementation of an operational method for integrating expert and local knowledge with new technologies for geographic mapping and communications, to enhance cultural landscape analysis and planning. Topics include the following aspects: a) analysis of type(s) of information required to construct a geographic information system (GIS), with the landscape as a common objective; b) method of implementing and integrating various types of expert knowledge in the GIS; c) method of collecting, organizing, and structuring local knowledge in the GIS; d) method of integrating expert with local knowledge; e) exploration of GIS functions. The main aim of this work is to examine the possibility of using participatory mapping methods and GIS for comparison and integration of multidisciplinary scientific expertise, local knowledge, and landscape project proposals. In particular, it involves specific methods for enhancing local features of vineyard landscapes through a participatory process developed with both vineyard entrepreneurs and the local population. The case study concerns the wine-growing area of Umbria, a region of central Italy.
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Participatory Gis (P-Gis) Methods

Landscape planning problems are often complex, require the contribution of experts from differing fields, engage both private and public institutions, involve stakeholders in diverging interests and, generally, affect a large number of people (Voss et al., 2004). As highlighted in the European Landscape Convention (ELC), landscape perception by locals becomes a focal point in landscape analysis and interpretation (European Council, 2000). Thus, their participation becomes an increasingly important component in landscape decision-making (Vajjhala, 2006). In traditional planning, local communities are not directly involved in landscape analysis, and they may express their opinions only during the final phase of participation. Conversely, modern participatory spatial planning (PSP) is based on the involvement of citizens and other stakeholders in the various phases of the process. In the PSP approach, participants may influence the final contents of the plan and have the opportunity to enhance their awareness about the characteristics and values of “their” landscapes. Participation may have a variety of additional goals, from the building of relationships (as in communicative planning) to prescription or goal selection (as in instrumental rationality) (Talen, 2000).

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