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Research Urban and Regional Studies Institute CASUS

Social Significance of Spatial Analysis and Design

The places we inhabit are subject to human interventions. Spatial information does not necessarily change decisions on how to adapt space, unless they fit in stories about the place's past, present and future. Therefore, spatial analysis needs to be considered in their social context, in order to understand if and how they impact physical space. Preferably, decision-makers are part of the analysis and design process. This way, mental frames about a place grow and converge.

Analysis as well as design shape what people appreciate, defend, promote, decide and invest. So, decision-making takes more than an inventory of opinions. Opinions have to be detected, connected, and challenged around the computer screen and the drawing table, in order to arrive at decisions that have true transformative power. And during the emergence of such a joint image of the future, relevant actors in the process will be added while others leave. The power of design is defined by actor's involvement in the design process. Thus, they embrace a co-ownership and responsibility.

Understanding the dialogue that thrives the production of evidence-based design is a component of CASUS’ research agenda. How are place stories produced and modified? How do actor constellations emerge and transform? How do maps of what is and what might be change behavior of citizens, businesses and decision-makers alike?

Last modified:12 April 2018 3.07 p.m.