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Mapping policies and programmes: the use of GIS to communicate spatial relationships in England

Wong, Cecilia, Baker, Mark, Webb, Brian ORCID:, Hincks, Stephen and Schulze- Baing, Andreas 2015. Mapping policies and programmes: the use of GIS to communicate spatial relationships in England. Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science 42 (6) , pp. 1020-1039. 10.1068/b130099p

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It has long been acknowledged that there is a gap between the advancement of GIS in the research field and its application in planning practice. This paper demonstrates the potential for employing simple GIS mapping overlays as a way of communicating complex planning issues in a ‘language’ that is easily understandable and effective at stimulating policy debate, critical thinking and learning. The analysis focuses on capturing the synergies and conflicts in two key planning challenges in England, progrowth and housing delivery agendas. In a political context where spatial evidencebased policymaking has been eroded in recent years, the analysis demonstrates the need for policymakers to ‘think spatially, act spatially’ when developing different policies and programmes. The paper concludes that only by making spatial relationships of policies and programmes explicit in a manner that is easily understood by a range of actors, can different spatial scenarios and metaphors of future opportunities and challenges be developed to inform long-range development and planning.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0265-8135
Funders: Royal Town Planning Institute
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 12 September 2014
Last Modified: 23 May 2023 20:10

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