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Hong Kong improves urban planning with GIS-based site search tool

Hong Kong: Hong Kong’s planning department has recently developed a GIS-based site search tool that improves urban planning. “As part of the Planning Department’s commitment to ensure the quality of living and working environments in Hong Kong, we recently developed a GIS-based site search tool which greatly improved the current practice of identifying and assessing potential commercial and residential sites,” said Stanley Tsoi, Senior Systems Manager, Hong Kong Planning Department. According to Stanley, the current practice involves a two-stage process. The first stage is the preliminary screening of possible sites based on a set of objective criteria while the second stage is the selection and prioritisation of the screened possible sites, taking into account the qualitative criteria, local planning environment and views of stakeholders.

The tool, which contains 13 types of criteria and 45 data layers, operates on a raster-GIS environment. It was developed based on customised algorithm designed to meet various local situations as well as the business operational needs of the Planning Department. In addition, the tool leverages ArcGIS Spatial Analyst, which is an extension of the ArcGIS for Desktop, to perform overlaying, buffering, focal and zonal statistics operations. “To enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the site search tool, a workflow system has been incorporated. As a result, users are guided throughout the whole exercise in a user-friendly graphical environment. This can help standardise the workflow procedures to ensure quality output in the format of a summary of potential sites. Most importantly the set of criteria parameters adopted in the model for producing the potential sites would also be listed out for reference and further scenario testing,” said Erin Yeung, Town Planner, Hong Kong Planning Department.

Source: Future Gov