Plan(ning) & Implementation Visualization Tools

A recent post on the APA SCP Interest Group Linked In site asking for recommendations for other planning visualization tools “that will allow a dense, complex plan to be easily communicated to its citizens in a highly interactive and visually engaging way, showing goals, strategies, implementation steps and performance indicators along with actions the reader can take to help support the plan.”

The post goes on to reference the Visible Strategies SEE-IT product as the one with which the poster is most familiar. You can “see it” in action on the Marin Countywide Plan, an award-winning effort at reinventing the general plan by reorganizing it for sustainability.

Another option worth noting, and a web site, plan, planning process, and implementation process worth studying and monitoring, is the “2020 Explorer” visualization tool used by the community of Whistler, British Columbia for their Whistler 2020 Plan, a plan deeply anchored in and driven by sustainability. It is one of the few comprehensive plans that has fully embraced a strategic approach using science-based sustainability principles.

Those are the only two instances with which i am familiar of visualization tools used to communicate a plan and the on-going implementation process. They also allow enable web-based interaction and communication that supports and enhances the on-going community and stakeholders.

I am familiar with some of the other tools mentiond in some of the responses to the initial post, particularly Community Viz. The Sacramento Blueprint project uses I-PLACE3S. I’m not familiar with MetroQuest, but it looks great for planning. I’m not sure if they have the equivalent post-planning SEE-IT or 2020 Explorer capcity. They are powerful tools particularly suited to the complexity of sustainability planning. However, I am only familiar with them in the context of scenario building, analysis, and assessment during the planning process. I don’t know if they offer the post-planning plan presentation/implementation visualization and web-based user interaction of SEE-IT or 2020Explorer. However, a little research is all that it would take to narrow down the real competitors to SEE-IT or 2020Explorer. Also, CommunityViz is an ArcGIS Desktop extension, so you need to have that capacity as a foundation. MindMixer, expands the public planning process with virtual tools. It looks like an exceptional innovation, but does not appear to be the equivalent of SEE-IT.

Other resources for planning or presentation/implementation are as follows:

You could also contact Ken Snyder through PlaceMatters (contact), a nationally renowned planning tools and decision-support expert. Ken was the Director of the APA Planning Technology Divisor for a few years in addition to his many other product development, innovations, and leadership accomplishments on his own and with the Orton Family Foundation.

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