Building a Framework for a Spatial Decision Support System for Co-locating Public Facilities




Minde, Julie M.

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Co-location involves the intentional siting together of public facilities. Co-location of public facilities is becoming an increasingly common practice, particularly for its perceived benefits of resource savings, increased efficiency and synergy of services, and enhanced sense of community. Such advantages may be especially critical in a location undergoing rapid growth. The ability to plan and manage the process of co-locating public facilities can be very important to the successful, efficient growth of a community. However, there can be significant challenges. Deliberate planning can be problematic in an environment of rapid growth. Co-location may instead be left to opportunity, which does little to maximize overall resource savings or to establish a coherent, long-term policy of co-location. Modeling can also be problematic in a rapidly changing environment. In general, modeling has proven to be limited in terms of serving as a predictive siting tool for public facilities under real-world conditions. There are no one-size-fits-all models for siting facilities, let alone for co-locating them, which is a far more complex endeavor. Thus, a more sustainable approach might be to develop a decision support tool. This research develops a Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) to co-locate public facilities in Loudoun County, a rapidly growing county in northern Virginia. The goal of the project is to determine if employing a SDSS based on CommunityViz in ArcGIS 9.2 facilitates successful co-location of public facilities in a dynamic decision-making environment.



Co-location, SDSS, CommunityViz, GIS, Public facility