Introduction: Planning Research Methods
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Planning is a profession that is concerned with shaping our living environment. (2000) observes that the profession of planning is alive and more plans have been made recently than ever before. As an example, a comprehensive plan sets the basis of land use policies and guides a community from where it is today to where we want it to be in the future. As the concept of sustainable development and the need for public involvement in planning by diverse groups become more widely accepted among politicians, policy-makers and the general public, it is critical to incorporate impact assessment and analysis into the planning and decision-making process. During such a process, planners bring stakeholders together (e.g., elected officials, business representatives, developers, community groups, residents, etc.) to set development goals and policies (e.g., what are we trying to achieve and how?). To do so, all stakeholders in a community should work together to analyze, compare, contrast and prioritize different development alternatives for a sustainable future (Smith et al., 2000; Wang, 2001). Planners, in particular, have the responsibility of gathering and evaluating available data, as well as accurately presenting future consequences of different action proposals to all stakeholders (Halls, 2001).
KeywordsGeographic Information System Metropolitan Statistical Area Location Quotient Planning Support System Traffic Analysis Zone
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