A critical challenge facing planners in any large and growing metropolitan area is “urban sprawl” and the increasing pressure on rural land and surrounding communities it creates. In order to address this challenge, planners require a better understanding of where future development pressures will be most pronounced and what will be the associated impacts. Atlases for Scenario Planning for Melbourne’s Peri-urban Region is an example of how GIS and spatial analysis can assist in the study of urban sprawl phenomenon and its implications. [“peri-urban - immediately adjoining an urban area; between the suburbs and the countryside”].
Spatial Vision, one of Australia’s foremost GIS consulting companies, working in partnership with the RMIT School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, has developed a methodology for modelling peri-urban development pressures, as a central component of the Sustainable Planning for Melbourne’s Peri-urban Region research program (commissioned by the Peri-urban group of councils and funded by Sustainability Victoria through the Victorian Local Sustainability Accord).
The research has identified how and where increases in population (and development demand) are expected to impact on Melbourne city fringes. The results are presented as a series of interactive atlases, comprising maps, tables, graphs and explanatory text, and are organised under the themes of Population Projections, Supply and Demand, Impact Analysis, Offsets/ Mitigations, and Township Analysis (click “Previous/Next” buttons positioned in the bottom of the page to navigate between the themes).
Atlases for Scenario Planning for Melbourne’s Peri-urban Region are built in Flash as an “interactive dashboard”. Google map features prominently on each page, providing spatial context to details presented in a tabular format and on graphs. The application is both, visually attractive and informative, and is a great example of how to present effectively complex concepts and large volume of information. Great resource for local communities, property developers and investors.
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