GI for Sustainability

GI & Sustainability 4

6108.2 - Tackling Vexing Land Use Challenges: How Geodesign Brings GIScience to Life

Thursday, July 6
8:50 AM - 9:10 AM
Location: Maryland C

What distinguishes geodesign from processes that deploy more innovative approaches to GIS? For example, GIS has been used to aid in making better decisions about siting and location. Is this geodesign? Possibly, but it depends on whether design-thinking was part in the decision making process. The term geodesign is new enough, and evolving fast enough, that it calls into question which approaches should actually merit use of the term “geodesign.” To answer the question “What is geodesign?,” this presentation establishes that the second part of the term, namely: design, must be present for a process to be truly representative of geodesign. The case to be made will be reinforced through showcasing actual projects, from around the world, that find success through deploying geodesign at a variety of scales and for critical topics, such as urban infill, coastal resiliency, infrastructure siting and environmental conservation. These examples make evident the key role that GIScience has in the success of geodesign.

Geodesign is a tried and trusted form of planning now updated through embracing the latest in GIS, visualization, and social science, all of which are organized around a unique framework process. What empowers geodesign’s mode of practice? It is an innovative combination of GIScience and design that deploys the latest technology and community engagement tactics. Geodesign is a new model for land design and planning which, interestingly, is rooted in decades of research and practice. The “new” aspect is the effective use of dynamic technology and the recognition of human capital potential.

Supporting Research:
The motivation for this presentation is to make GIScience professionals aware of the impactful opportunities this emerging form of land use design and planning makes possible. This is evidenced in several recent Geodesign Summits: California (2010- 2016), Europe (2013-2016) and China (2013), as well as the growing number of publications, including these books: 1) Steinitz, Carl, A Framework for Geodesign: Changing Geography by Design, Redlands: Esri Press, 2012; and 2) Lee, Danbi, Dias, Eduardo, Scholten, Henk J. (Eds.) Geodesign by Integrating Design and Geospatial Sciences, GeoJournal Library, Vol. 111: Springer Press, 2014. The presenter has a chapter in the second book. The presenter is also the author of one of the essays in the 2016 Special issue of Landscape and Urban Planning (LAND): “Geodesign: Changing the World, Changing Design,” titled, “Geodesign Parsed: Placing it within the rubric of recognized design theories.”

GIScience professionals are well poised to have even greater impact in addressing some of the most critical land use challenges facing society today. Attendees will understand how their skills and expertise are a perfect fit for playing a key role in geodesign teams; they will realize the efficiencies and effectiveness of deploying dynamic technologies during the geodesign process, and they will gain insights about real-world, international geodesign practice from sample case studies. This presentation will serve to help shape the dialogue about geodesign and better define this emerging, dynamic form of GIScience-based planning and design practice.

Kelleann Foster

Associate Dean
Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Penn State University

Kelleann Foster, RLA, ASLA is Associate Dean and Director of the Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at Penn State University. She is a licensed landscape architect whose research focuses on designing sustainable communities. She has 30+ years of professional practice experience and over 25-years at Penn State. Her recent sabbatical, based at Esri, resulted in Penn State’s new online Geodesign graduate programs. Much of Kelleann’s work uses computer technologies to communicate alternative scenarios. Her work has received national and international recognition. Her expertise, highlighted in a recent publication in a special issue of Landscape and Urban Planning titled “Geodesign parsed: Placing it within the rubric of recognized design theories,” places her among leaders of the emerging field of geodesign.


Send Email for Kelleann Foster

Horst Kremers

CODATA-Germany Chair, Berlin (Germany)


Send Email for Horst Kremers


6108.2 - Tackling Vexing Land Use Challenges: How Geodesign Brings GIScience to Life


Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for Tackling Vexing Land Use Challenges: How Geodesign Brings GIScience to Life