Date of Award

5-2002

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major Professor

John D. Peine

Committee Members

Bruce Tonn, Cecilia Zanetta

Abstract

This thesis focuses on the application of scientific information and planning support system (PSS) technologies to community planning and decision-making processes. Years of scientific research and recent technologicaladvances have produced a wealth of information and increased accessibility to this information. Technological advances have also enhanced the types of analysis that can be done to support planning and decision-making processes. However, having the capability to access this wealth of information and perform advanced analyses does not necessarily mean it results in incorporation of the data and analysis into. the planning or decision-making process.

The main objective of this research is to devise a methodology to evaluate the role and impact of PSS technologies and scientific information on community level planning and decision-making processes. The methodology consists of six areas of focus: (l) issue of concern; (2) characteristics of the planning and decision-making process; (3) relevance of science to the issue; (4) capabilities ofthe PSS system; (5) roles and capabilities of the planners and decision-makers; and (6) impact of the science.

The methodology is applied to Walden, Tennessee as the town goes through the process of creating a conservation-oriented zoning ordinance.

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