Suitability analysis

A fundamental environmental planning tool

Authored by: Robert Paterson , Frederick Steiner

The Routledge Companion to Environmental Planning

Print publication date:  August  2019
Online publication date:  July  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138894808
eBook ISBN: 9781315179780
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter provides a brief overview of the historical evolution of land suitability analysis as applied to land use and environmental planning largely from a North American city planning perspective. It highlights important touchstones in the evolution of the technique in both theory and practice, and then describes a five-step process typically used for suitability analysis in mainstream physical planning. The authors describe two projects from Central Texas that illustrate some of the challenges and opportunities of using the technique in practice. Applications of suitability analysis beyond the North American context are also briefly discussed. The chapter concludes with reflections on the challenges and opportunities for further use of suitability analysis as part of planning support systems and participatory planning more generally.

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