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Towards a pragmatic research agenda for the PSS domain

Marco te Brömmelstroet

Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 2017, vol. 104, issue C, 77-83

Abstract: The tenuous link between knowledge and processes of urban strategy-making leads to suboptimal plans, time delays and financial costs. The planning professional is ill-equipped to deal with fundamental urban challenges that threaten the quality and competiveness of cities and regions. For decades, Planning Support Systems (PSS) are being developed to address this challenge. The PSS research domain grew accordingly. Only recently did researchers start to focus more directly on how PSS are used (or not used) by planning practitioners. Understanding the real-life application of PSS is fundamental for addressing the challenges of knowledge use. This commentary argues that we need to go beyond the current simplistic understanding of several key concepts. It identifies academic pathways that further mature the conceptualization of PSS, of planning processes, of the participants and the relationship between them. The argument builds on ten years of full-time research in this domain and combines this with recent insights from other academic fields, such as group performance and behavior psychology. This provides us pathways towards a more realistic evaluation of how knowledge can regain its important role in urban planning.

Keywords: Planning support systems; User-friendliness; Usefulness; Urban planning; Process; Epistemology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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