Planning Support Systems, Chapter 15: Enhancing Comprehensive Planning with Public Engagement and Planning Support Integrations, Mullen, S., Lieske, S. and Hamerlinck, J.D. 2009

Standing at the forefront of proven methodologies for integrating planning support with land planning processes is a set of techniques for developing comprehensive plans with consistently high levels of community support. This public engagement based planning process has been used successfully for developing several comprehensive plans in the Rocky Mountain Region of the western United States. In the process, planning support instruments (PSI) are used to collect and a planning support system (PSS) is used to integrate public values in the development of a concept plan which becomes the basis of the comprehensive plan. A strong public engagement process, integrating public values and preferences with geographic data, and public feedback on preliminary products results in a quality plan with a high likelihood of being adopted and effectively implemented. The objective of this chapter is to overview this planning process and PSS methodology by describing a collaboration between Foresee Consulting, Inc., The University of Wyoming, Winston Associates, Inc. and the Albany County, Wyoming Planning Office. This overview extends the literature addressing public engagement in the planning process, provides insight into the debate about public values leading to the development of a quality plan, and allows case based generalizations which serve to offer further insight into enhancing the use of planning support.


Community Visualization – The Key to Democratic Urban Planning”, How to use GIS to create huge support for physical plans derived from the community process, Steven B. Mullen, GeoWorld, cover and feature article. November 2006

Abstract: Policy plans alone, without a physical plan of desired future land uses, do little to control a community’s future. To help citizens arrive at a future of their own choosing, a map is required that depicts where future development is desired and where it isn’t as well as the type and character of development that should be exhibited. The critical threshold of public-planning success is the adoption of a plan. An adopted plan then can be implemented, thus potentially changing the world in positive ways. Research indicates that plans that can be characterized as “good plans,” with demonstrated community support, get adopted and implemented. Good plans integrate quality social, economic and environmental solutions while achieving plan-specific goals and objectives. Public support for a plan results from a process in which participants can see that they’re having a real influence on the outcome. GIS technology integrated into a valid public process is being used to educate citizen participants, quantify values, predict potential impacts of alternative futures and, ultimately, generate a good plan with high levels of community support and ownership.


Digital Land, Integrating Technology into the Land Planning Process, James L. Sipes and Mark S. Lindhult, (Contribution text Steve Mullen) 2009

It’s your complete guide to design and planning as they relate to land and how

digital technology fits into the process. Digital Land, Integrating Technology into the Land Planning Process, explains what digital tools are used to collect, assemble, and analyze information used to assess the suitability of both development and preservation. It also covers scales of planning — including regional, community, and neighborhood projects — and shows how digital tools can be used to complete those projects better and faster. Case studies offer sound examples of how digital and traditional tools were used in specific planning projects. This book is ideal if you make or are interested in decisions about the use of land in your neighborhood, community, or region.


Putting Democracy Front & Center: Technology for Citizen Participation”, State of the art public engagement process for Berthoud Colorado, Feature article, with Ken Snyder, Planning: July 1, 2006

This article describes new technology that will revolutionize how the public participates in the planning process. Tools can be used for community definition, land use mapping, growth visualization, scenario planning and citizen engagement. One community that is using this technology is Berthoud, Colorado, which is updating its comprehensive plan. The town is creating an expansive public participation system to attract and engage stakeholders in the update process. The next step in planning technology is to integrate decision support tools and processes that cut across traditional borders to develop a new standard of informed, equitable and collaborative decision making.


“Spatial Technologies – Make Public Planning Accessible” GIS, decision-making software and 3D imagery combine to help communities work together. with James L. Sipes, Cadalyst. June 1, 2005

Abstract: The main idea behind GIS decision-making software is that citizens should be involved in the planning process because of their local knowledge and concern for their communities. An informed public makes better decisions, supports policy and helps ensure that changes in their community are planned. Many communities are turning to the combination of GIS, decision-making software and 3D visualization technology to involve the public in the planning process.


“Creating a Green Vision, Community Mapping in a Digital Age”, with Steven Mullen and James L. Sipes, Landscape Architecture. January, 2005


“Village Vision”, Fort Carson, Colorado, by Susan Smith, Architecture Week. 2005

Abstract: The Fort Carson Army Base in Colorado Springs is experiencing a population boom. In an effort to plan its land use in a more sustainable and sensitive way, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is using its geographic information system, enhanced by CommunityViz software, to produce data-based visualizations to help local participants envision the spatial, economic, and visual effects of planning choices.


Envisioning Rural Futures; Using Innovative Software for Community Planning” Conservation in the Internet Age, Island Press. 2002

The Internet and advanced logistics are enabling new changes on the landscape, with both positive and negative impacts on our efforts to conserve land and biodiversity. Emerging technologies have led to tremendous innovations in conservation science and resource management as well as education and advocacy efforts. At the same time, new networks have been powerful enablers of decentralization, facilitating sprawling development into previously undesirable or inaccessible areas. This volume offers a cross-disciplinary perspective on critical changes on the land and in the field of conservation. It: provides a general overview of the impact of new technologies and networks; explores the potentially disruptive impacts of the new networks on open space and biodiversity; presents case studies of innovative ways that conservation organizations are using the new networks to pursue their missions; and considers how rapid change in the Internet age creates the potential for landmark conservation initiatives. The work examines the links among land use, technology and conservation from multiple perspectives, and suggests areas and initiatives that merit further investigation. It offers insight into the challenges facing the land and biodiversity conservation community.


“Pikes Peak Multi-Use Plan – The Technical Approach to Carrying Capacity Analysis”, Chapter VI. author Steven Mullen, ESRI’s, GIS for Landscape Architects. October 1999

This guide features 10 real-world case studies demonstrating how GIS is used to prepare plans for a historic streetscape, create a site design for a major vacation resort, and visualize a proposed landfill, as well as many other practical applications.


“People and Tourism in Fragile Environments”, Martin F. Price, Chapter 9 “Finding Common Ground in the Last Best Place: The Flathead County Montana Master Plan” Steve Mullen, Design Workshop, October 1997

Mountains, deserts, savannahs and the polar regions are fragile both in their ecologies and the cultures of their inhabitants. These fragile environments are characterized by a marked seasonality, and many human activities are limited to clearly defined times of the year. Environmental impacts arise not only from traditional economic activities, but also from tourism which has recently grown rapidly in many of these environments around the world. This trend is welcomed by the tourism industry but viewed with apprehension by many organizations concerned with protecting the human and natural systems of fragile environments. While tourism can provide new sources of revenue and help stem depopulation, it can also destabilize communities, making them dependent on external sources of money and endangering long-established traditions and ways of life. People and Tourism in Fragile Environments discusses many of these delicate interactions by presenting detailed case studies from five continents. The contributors write from a wide and well-balanced range of perspectives, including anthropology, geography, recreation, national park management, environmental consulting and the tourism industry. The common theme is clear: that tourism must always be seen in the long-term context of the communities with which it interacts. This book is an essential contribution to the literature of tourism and sustainable development and will be widely read by students of tourism, travel and tourism professionals, and anyone involved in related fields of sustainable development and fragile environments.


“Leading Edge Parks”, Landscape Architecture. 1995


“Mountain Environments & Geographic Information Systems”, M. Price & D. Hewood, Eds., Case Studies, S. Mullen, Design Workshop, Taylor & Francis, Inc. Publisher. 1994

Drawing together experiences from five continents, this title evaluates and discusses the use of GIS for research and management in mountain environments. Contributions come from both research scientists and private consultants.; The book includes papers covering: GIS in the mountains of the Commonwealth of Independent States; land hazard analysis; research and management in national parks and adjacent areas USA, Canada, Australia; impacts of climate change on mountain vegetation; linkage of knowledge-based systems to GIS; terrain modelling DTMs.; These papers are grouped together into sections: regional resource inventory and planning; natural hazard assessment; conservation and protected area management; simulation and prediction: vegetation and climate change.