Enabling planning with Geospatial Information

Enabling planning with Geospatial Information

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Ahris Yaakup, Mohd Nuruddin Abdul Kadir, Susilawati Sulaiman
Department of Urban and Regional Planning
Faculty of Built Environment
University Technology Malaysia
81310 Skudai, Johore
MALAYSIA
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

Abstract
Spatial representation is critical to environmental problem solving. Geospatial data and technologies apparently enable more effective and efficient operations, improved communications, and, ultimately, better decision-making. The capabilities of geospatial data and technologies also help empower citizens with vital information about their communities and deepen the capacity of citizens to make informed, collaborative decisions affecting their quality of life. As geospatial information are being used daily by almost every agency of the federal government and agencies of local governments, regional governments, and public authorities, much concern is given to effective methods of creating, obtaining and distributing information. This paper discusses several case studies concerning the development, organisation and application of geospatial information for urban metropolitan management with specific focus on Klang Valley Region, West Malaysia. The main emphasis is on empowering people of the urban metropolitan involved in planning and management especially the decision makers, stakeholders as well as public citizens, through innovative measures which provide accessibility to geospatial information. Several related issues of development and implementation will also be discussed.

INTRODUCTION
Issues arising from the urbanisation process have long been of prime concern. It is aware that the urbanisation process which indeed brings numerous benefits to the quality of urban life and environment, would also project negative effects in various aspects including economy, ecology and sociology. These include problems such as uncontrolled urban sprawl, congestion and increasing cost of service to cater for new infrastructure apart from the awaiting challenges such as socioeconomic disparities between regions, urban poverty and increase risk of social exclusion.

Apparently spatial representation is critical to environmental problem solving. The attribute data related to the problems or issues to be addressed need to be translated into spatial manifestation to ease the process of analysis and decision making. Basically, information is utilised to perform two sets of task. Firstly, information has a role in the process of deciding what action to take, including both operational and strategic decision making and secondly, how activities are organized in terms of managerial control.

Up-to-date, reliable information is therefore needed at the management level to facilitate administrative procedures, policy planning and implementation as well as development strategy. It is a necessity for forecasting, modelling and evaluation of current situation and changes that are in progress. The quality of urban planning and management can be upgraded when available and valid data are handled in an advanced manner with the aid of computers having the ability to retrieve information rapidly and efficiently, to model different scenarios and to evaluate alternative solutions generated by various modeling procedures. Given the dynamic nature of planning and management of an urban metropolitan such as Klang Valley, it is particularly important to have a well conceived information system, which can serve as the eyes and ears to a regional development planning and monitoring process. It provides for the monitoring and surveillance of compliance with planning regulations and it serves as an early warning system with regard to sources of friction, imbalances, shortfalls and failures in the process of planning and management (Yaakup, Johar and Dahlan, 1997).

This paper discusses several case studies concerning the development, organisation and application of geospatial information at strategic levels for urban metropolitan management with specific focus on Klang Valley Region. The main emphasis is on empowering people of the urban metropolitan involved in planning and management through the use of geospatial information, especially the decision makers and stakeholders including public citizens. Several related issues of development and implementation will also be discussed.