Urban Planning & Design

Importance of Spatial Analysis in City Planning – Planungsverband München (PV) & Maptionnaire

February 4, 2021
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Challenge: Planungsverband München (PV) wanted to be more inclusive in their community engagement efforts. They wanted to reach out to more people and especially those groups that are often neglected in public participation. Since spatial analysis in city planning is essential, they also needed to find a citizen engagement platform that would provide them with spatial data.

Solution: Planungsverband München (PV) has been able to reach more residents with Maptionnaire’s online engagement solution. Also the option of giving anonymous feedback has been important. They have found Maptionnaire’s ability to provide them with place-based information extremely valuable for spatial planning.

Planungsverband Äußerer Wirtschaftsraum München (PV) (Planning Association of the Greater Munich Area) was established in 1950. It’s a voluntary association of approximately 160 cities and municipalities, eight local districts, and the state capital city of Munich. The team at Planungsverband München (PV) believes that in urban planning it’s important to actively involve citizens in the process to achieve better acceptance and long-term success of proposed plans. The association wanted to find a solution that would allow them to engage more people, and at the same time would provide them with spatial data to support the planning process.

Engaging Residents Formally and Informally

Planungsverband München (PV) represents communal interests, and it’s committed to fostering the cooperation between its members as well as to promoting the sustainable development of the greater Munich area. The association supports their member organizations in several planning tasks (e.g. land-use plans, structural reports, analyses for schools) and gives advice on all questions related to spatial development. The team members compile expert reports and offer their expertise on topics related to urban planning.

The German law about building code requires that citizens are able to access and give feedback on development plans and land use plans. This is a formal part of the planning process. Additionally, residents can be engaged earlier, i.e. before the formal planning process starts. Engaging people in the early stages often results in a more transparent and sustainable planning outcome. Typically, this early-stage community engagement is done in community workshops, work groups or community walks, and counts as an informal part of the planning process.

Mission: Engage More People + Find a Map-Based Citizen Engagement Platform

The team at Planungsverband München (PV) wanted to add more inclusive practices to their participation processes and gather more information that would be of value. They believe that citizens should be included as active participants throughout the entire planning process, and that participating should be easy and not take too much time. Additionally, Planungsverband München (PV) thinks that children, youth and the physically disabled, who typically are underrepresented in community engagement, should be included in the engagement process more often. What is also important is to offer an option for giving feedback anonymously which is often not possible at face-to-face community events.

With these principles in mind, the association was looking for an online participation tool that could produce spatial data and therefore improve their work and the entire planning process by providing more accurate, place-based data.

As Maptionnaire is a public participation GIS (PPGIS) service, meaning you can incorporate maps and geographic data with your surveys, it was exactly the kind of tool they were after. Planungsverband München (PV) was also impressed with Maptionnaire’s helpful support.

Supporting the Entire Spatial Planning Process

Planungsverband München (PV) uses Maptionnaire’s map-based surveys in various kinds of tasks during the planning process. As an example, they’ve utilized Maptionnaire as part of the realignment of land use planning for the municipalities of Taufkirchen (Vils) and Aschheim. Residents were asked about their thoughts on the future plans for the community, and they provided Planungsverband München (PV) with solution-oriented suggestions. The value of Maptionnaire in a project like this was especially the tacit knowledge that the residents provided through the Maptionnaire survey. Planungsverband München (PV) also uses Maptionnaire to support informal planning when creating concepts e.g. for mobility or urban development.

Importance of Place-Based Information for Spatial Analysis in City Planning

Maptionnaire has been a welcomed solution for Planungsverband München (PV) for reaching a larger group of residents. They appreciate that by using Maptionnaire people can participate anonymously and whenever and wherever they want. It’s also a great way to get young people to participate.

The most valuable feature for them is the ability for residents to provide place-based information. This enriches the planning process. With interactive maps it’s possible to look at each individual comment or map marking. This way, individual comments won’t get lost in the report summary.

Maptionnaire is a great community engagement tool. It enriches the entire planning process. You get to hear opinions from residents who really are the ‘place-based experts’ of their cities. We appreciate that Maptionnaire supports  the entire planning process – either alone or as a complementary tool together with traditional methods.
Luisa Becker-Nickels, Urban Planner, Planungsverband Äußerer Wirtschaftsraum München (PV)

Case Examples of Using Maptionnaire

Land use plan for Taufkirchen (Vils)                

Taufkirchen - Maptionnaire questionnaire.jpg

As part of the land use planning process in the municipality of Taufkirchen (Vils), the citizens could, for example, indicate which future housing areas they favor in their community (“I like living here”) and which they tend to dislike (“I don't like living here”). They were also able to explain their answers. The possible future housing areas were planned in advance and together with the municipal council. For the respondents these options were shown in the questionnaire on top of the map.

10 Years of Putzbrunn

Putzbrunn - Maptionnaire questionnaire.jpg

In the survey, residents were able to find out more about the municipality of Putzbrunn – both about the development concept and about the activities that had already been implemented. It was also possible for the participants to provide information and opinions about the key objectives and planned concepts for the area.

Land use plan for Aschheim                

Aschheim - Maptionnaire questionnaire.jpg

In the online survey about the land use plan for the municipality of Aschheim, the participants were able to provide their opinions in several areas of city planning such as housing development, traffic, and parks and recreation. The residents could also identify places that they were not satisfied with, and explain what should be improved.

Mobility plan for Haar      

Haar - Maptionnaire questionnaire.jpg

The residents of Haar municipality (Munich area) were included in the mobility planning in two different stages. In the first stage, participants were able to comment on the existing situation (such as marking missing cycling paths or bike parking facilities), and in the second stage, they could comment on future plans.

Interested in using Maptionnaire for your spatial planning processes and citizen engagement?

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