Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Are spatial planning objectives reflected in the evolution of urban landscape patterns? A framework for the evaluation of spatial planning outcomes

Version 1 : Received: 29 May 2017 / Approved: 30 May 2017 / Online: 30 May 2017 (06:24:58 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Grădinaru, S.R.; Iojă, C.I.; Pătru-Stupariu, I.; Hersperger, A.M. Are Spatial Planning Objectives Reflected in the Evolution of Urban Landscape Patterns? A Framework for the Evaluation of Spatial Planning Outcomes. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1279. Grădinaru, S.R.; Iojă, C.I.; Pătru-Stupariu, I.; Hersperger, A.M. Are Spatial Planning Objectives Reflected in the Evolution of Urban Landscape Patterns? A Framework for the Evaluation of Spatial Planning Outcomes. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1279.

Journal reference: Sustainability 2017, 9, 1279
DOI: 10.3390/su9081279

Abstract

The evaluation of spatial planning results, or outcomes, has been rather neglected by scholars and practitioners. The causes of this neglect are linked to the characteristics of the planning systems in use or difficulties in quantifying results. To advance the state of the art of outcome evaluation, this paper focuses on assessing the implementation of national spatial planning objectives in urban landscapes, through the use of an evaluation framework that makes use of spatially explicit information. The framework is built on four dimensions which reflect the main domains of spatial planning: efficient built-up development, conservation of agricultural land, landscape preservation, and human perception. Indicators capable of capturing landscape changes in both time and space are used to verify degree of conformance between adopted objectives and actual development patterns. We make use of spatially explicit data and assess whether and where landscape changes occurred, by integrating the framework into a multi-criteria analysis. In the present study, the framework is tested in two study areas in Switzerland and Romania, and the results are interpreted from the perspective of spatial planning approaches in the two countries. The efficiency and utility of the framework is demonstrated by its ability to provide valuable information facilitating improvement in the performance of planning processes, such as identifying where the implementation of objectives is less effective, and the domains of spatial planning that are affected. Our findings highlight that the distance between objectives and outcomes can be attributed to differences in countries’ spatial planning approaches, particularly regarding landscape preservation and management. Our study provides valuable insights for the integration of time series of spatial data into the evaluation procedure.

Subject Areas

planning evaluation, spatial planning objectives, urban landscape, spatial multi-criteria analysis, romania, switzerland

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