‘GIS essential for the future of sustainable Australian cities’

‘GIS essential for the future of sustainable Australian cities’

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Australia: Sustainable Australian cities must be built using GIS technology according to the vast majority of the nation’s councils surveyed in a landmark study of local government. The 2013 GIS in Local Government Benchmark Study found 86% of councils see GIS technology as ‘essential’ to a sustainable future for Australia’s cities, while 99% said the technology was ‘important’ to fulfill this goal.

Speaking at the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia’s National Conference (IPWEA) in Darwin, Esri Australia GIS Specialist Len Olyott said the Study provided the public works sector with compelling insight into the future direction of sustainable community development. “GIS technology literally maps the geographic elements contained within data, providing an analytical vantage point for decision makers unattainable through any other business tool,” said Olyott. “In this way, local councils can do more than just speculate on the alternate futures of our cities – this technology gives them the ability to depict and visualise plans in 3D to assess the best possible city design. For example, GIS technology enables planners to conduct detailed analysis on how proposed developments may impact existing buildings and structures – such as how a skyscraper may affect the city’s skyline and other residents’ line of sight, as well as the shading effects on other surrounding buildings. Armed with this insight, decision makers can identify potential development ramifications across issues including population growth, employment opportunities, environmental impact and public access to infrastructure.”

The Study also found GIS technology was currently used in 69% of community planning cases, 73% of environmental management, 77% of town planning and 74% of urban projects across local councils surveyed. Several councils across Queensland and throughout Australia are already placing GIS technology at the centre of all their community planning processes. The 2013 GIS in Local Government Benchmark Study is an independent Study supported by the Surveying and Spatial Science Institute (SSSI) and leading mapping specialists Esri Australia.

Source: Informed Infrastructure