Understanding the added value of rooting geo-technologies in planning practice

The “Intramural” case study in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain


  • Irene Luque-Martín University of Twente
  • Jorge Izquierdo-Cubero University of Seville





Planning practice, geo-technologies, planning support systems, urban vitality, urban indicators, geographic information systems


While planning practice largely relies on conventional planning methodologies, academia is ahead on the research about geotechnical tools such as Planning Support Systems (PSS) and how they could support contemporary and complex planning processes. The aim of this paper is to show the outcomes of the application of geo-tools (i.e. Geographical information systems) in an empirical case carried out by practitioners, academics, and the Municipality of Jerez. It draws on empirical data from a planning project focused on the dilapidated and oldest area in the city centre. This area is collapsing due to lack of maintenance and lack of inhabitants. The project created an urban indicator framework, to determine the agenda and priorities for urban development projects implemented in the area. It is a quantitative approach and distil what could be done to ameliorate the situation. This paper promotes aims to reflect how PSS can be appropriated in a specific planning culture. The goal is to find which are the crucial urban indicators and which are the added values found during the implementation of PSS during the process. It concludes by emphasizing the valuable contributions of empirical case studies to better understanding the added value of PSS in planning practice. It reflects on the demand to promote tailored PSS applications in order to adapt to local planning methods and theories.




Geertman, S., & Stillwell, J. (2004). “Planning support systems: an inventory of current practice”. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 28(4), p. 291-310. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0198-9715(03)00024-3

Goodspeed, R. (2016). The death and life of collaborative planning theory. Urban Planning, 1 (4), 1-5. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17645/up.v1i4.715

Healey, P. (2003). Collaborative planning in perspective. Planning theory, 2 (2), 101-123. https://doi.org/10.1177/14730952030022002

Montgomery, J. (1995). Editorial Urban Vitality and the Culture of Cities. Planning Practice & Research, 10/2, 101-110. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02697459550036649

Pelzer, P. (2015). Usefulness of Planning Support Systems. Conceptual perspectives and practitioners’ experiences. PhD Series In Planning, book, 3. University of Utrecht.

Portugali, J. (2011). Complexity, cognition and the city. Springer Science & Business Media.

te Brömmelstroet, M. (2016). PSS are more user-friendly, but are they also increasingly ?. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 104, 96-107. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tra.2016.08.009

Vonk, G., Geertman, S., & Schot, P. (2005). Bottlenecks blocking widespread usage of planning support systems. Environment and planning A, 37(5), 909-924. https://doi.org/10.1068/a3712

Vonk, G. A. (2006). Improving planning support: the use of planning support systems for spatial planning. KNAG/Netherlands Geographical Studies. (PhD Dissertation).