- Glossary AlpES Terms
This project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme
According to the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers Responsible For Spatial/Regional Planning (CEMAT) “Spatial planning is the main instrument for:
A participatory approach to spatial planning, thus including multiple actors such as civil society in the planning process, is essential since spatial planning affects whole communities. Spatial planning processes are important in (re)shaping regions and its interconnections with other region and therefore play an important role in working towards a sustainable, balanced, and shared territorial development in the Alpine Space.
The field of spatial planning has become more and more intertwined with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS tools can be used to analyse and visualise the outcomes of spatial planning decisions and are useful to model different spatial planning scenarios (AG-O 1999)6). GIS can strenghten the participatory planning process through the involvement of (local) stakeholders in the use and/or production of geographical information; so called 'Participatory GIS' applications (PGIS) (Mccall and Dunn 2012) 7). According to Dunn (2007): “A Participatory GIS celebrates the multiplicity of geographical realities rather than the disembodied, objective and technical ‘solutions’ which have tended to characterize many conventional GIS applications” 8). PGIS gives legitimacy to local or 'non-official' geographical information and empowers local communities in decision making processes. The internet has increased the opportunities and accessibility of PGIS (Web.2.0).
GIS in general is an important tool in the mapping and assessment of ecosystem services. GIS can be used to visualise spatial and temporal patterns and changes in ecosystem services (Nemec and Raudsepp-Hearne 2013) 9). It can model the provision of ecosystem services as a result of land use changes, natural resource management changes, or climate changes and thus is an important tool in decision-making process in general and spatial planning processes in particular. Participatory approaches to the mapping and assessment of ecosystem services have been undertaken, especially with regard to the identification of ecosystem serves. Cultural ecosystem services are the easiest to be identified with PGIS and regulatory and provisioning ecosystem services have proved more challenging (Brown et al. 2012)10).
In the AlpES project stakeholders have an important role in shaping the project activities and results. In stakeholder involvement rounds, stakeholders are asked for their feedback on intermediate projects results, which is then used to further the project activities. The AlpES-WebGIS that is being developed in the work package "WebGIS and WIKIAlps" is, besides the input given by stakeholders on the functionalities of the WebGIS, participatory in the sense that the WebGIS in theory can be accessed by a limitless number of people (Dunn 2007) 11).