Public Participation GIS: A new method for national park planning

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Department or Administrative Unit


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This paper describes research to evaluate the use of a public participation geographic information system (PPGIS) methodology for national park planning. Visitor perceptions of park experiences, environmental impacts, and facility needs were collected via an internet-based mapping method for input into a national park planning decision support system. The PPGIS method presupposes that consistent with the dominant statutory framework, national parks should be managed for both visitor enjoyment and natural and cultural resource protection. This paper: (1) describes the PPGIS method used in a 2009 park planning study conducted for national parks in the Greater Alpine region of Victoria, Australia; (2) presents and evaluates selected results of the Greater Alpine study and provides examples of how PPGIS data can be used for decision support in park planning; (3) provides a summary of lessons learned including a discussion of future implementation constraints. The results demonstrate that an internet, participatory mapping method, though not without limitations, can be effective in measuring visitor experiences, environmental impacts, and facility needs for a variety of park planning processes. PPGIS expands a park agency's repertoire of methods to engage the public in planning and can help build and sustain trust in a park agency's planning process and decisions.


This article was originally published in Landscape and Urban Planning. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here. Due to copyright restrictions, this article is not available for free download from ScholarWorks @ CWU.


Landscape and Urban Planning


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