This paper introduces the history and role of consultation processes of contemporary planning and, after presenting the popularity and criticisms of different practices including communities in urban decision making, it explores how rational planning tools like Geographic Information Systems (GIS) could be exploited to reshape consultation and formally include subjective data in traditional area profiling. Focusing on the popular consultation tool of community mapping, primary and secondary research methods (a literature review, seven interviews to planners and two observational studies) identified seven different problems with contemporary community mapping: spatial and temporal scale, generalisation, integration, representativeness, accessibility, relatedness and visualisation. The conceptualisation, physical modelling and testing of a new community mapping procedure ‘Submap’ is then used to address these problems and discuss 1) the strengths and limitations of formalising community mapping activities for area profiling in GIS and 2) the role of pragmatic research in promoting inclusive practices in contemporary planning.
- Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
- area profiling