Evaluating GIS in Urban Landscape: the impact of technology and GIS on Organizations and Environmental Problem Solving
Landscape architects have been using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) primarily for large-scale applications such as regional, environmental, ecological and natural resources planning and management. GIS applications are explored for the smaller-scale urban landscapes of communities and neighborhoods. It is described how a community-based GIS was used in a participatory neighborhood planning process to enhance communication between planners, community groups and local residents. Community-based organizations (CBOs) today seek improved capacity to address environmental problems in urban neighborhoods. Many seek access to information technologies such as the Internet and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to expand information about their neighborhoods’ environmental quality to support their planning and service efforts. Experience with the Internet has been bolstered somewhat by programmers create community networks. This experience and experience with GIS in planning at the municipal and state levels reveals a set of technical, organizational and personal prerequisites that bolster successful and effective adoption of information technologies. This paper reviews these prerequisites as they pertain to CBOs and makes recommendations for transactions that could enhance CBO adoption of the Internet and GIS to address environmental problems in urban neighborhoods.