Geodesign: Using data transparency and community voices for enhanced land-use planning

APA Pennsylvania Chapter


Wednesday, February 20, 2019
noon - 1:15 p.m. EST

CM | 1.25

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Land use planning for the future needs to embrace the latest technologies and tools, as well as how to grasp all the data available about places (without being overwhelmed!).  New changes in geospatial tools and technologies enables a shift from data-overload towards data sensibility.  Geodesign, rooted in decades of refinement, is a place-based planning process that joins values-laden creative problem solving with geospatial data in a collaborative approach.  Admittedly, the geo-design process is a little more intensive than traditional land planning practices, however the ability to truncate the usual planning timeline, plus Geo-design’s track record of success, far exceeds concerns about transitioning to this contemporary land use planning process.


Key to Geo-design’s success is a unique framework that structures the process to embrace the latest in GIS, visualization, and social science.  The Geodesign framework is effective at a variety of scales and for a range of critical planning topics, from urban infill or infrastructure siting to environmental conservation.  The framework prejudices local stakeholders and community input, recognizing the importance of human- capital.  Stakeholders react well to data transparency and being able to see – in real time mapping and “dashboards”—consequences of various land use choices.  Geodesign works to guide stakeholders to a consensus vision for the future through the process of collaboration and negotiation that is enlivened by geospatial technologies that visualize scenario alternatives in real time.  The audience 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 via a real-world Geodesign case study.  


Kelleann Foster, RLA, ASLA

Kelleann Foster, RLA, ASLA is a licensed landscape architect, professor in Penn State’s landscape architecture department and Director of the Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. She is the author of a book, a Wiley & Sons “Careers in Design” series— titled “Becoming a Landscape Architect.” A recent sabbatical ... Read More

David Goldberg, ASLA

David Goldberg, ASLA is aa Assistant Professor of landscape architecture and the Technology Operations Manager for the Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at Penn State University. There he teaches courses in design visualization, building information modeling, site design, and Geodesign. His research interests include: optimizing the physical and ... Read More

Jesse Suders

Mr. Suders, with approximately 10 years of geographic information systems and planning experience, works to ensure that geospatial data and technology are utilized to their maximum potential by supporting a variety of planning projects at the state, regional, and local scale. With experiences ranging from conservation planning to Department of ... Read More

Contact Info

Peter Wulfhorst, AICP,