Information Series 113

Information Series 113

INF 113

Map Analysis Techniques for Land Use Planning (Matlup)

Author(s) Barlow, F.D. Date 1991-03-01

The Map Analysis Techniques for Land Use Planning (Matlup) project was completed as part of the Alberta Planning Board - LRIS Pilot project. The overall objective of MATLUP was to determine the feasibility of applying GIS technology to land use-planning activities. This objective included four general assessment areas: land use model definition data requirements, system requirements, and the transferability of the results to other planning issues.

MATLUP examined these issues by implementing a GIS-based process for a hypothetical land use planning case study. This case study involved the selection of a feedlot site within the four townships surrounding the town of Morinville. An interdisciplinary workshop was held to define and rank the planning factors that comprised the planning problem. This workshop used an Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to identify and rate those factors considered important for feedlot site selection. The process identified four general categories of factors that would affect feedlot location, environmental, social, site and economic. The availability of water supply, water quality issues and land-use bylaws were key determinants in land parcel assessment.

A land0use model was designed that used the AHP results and land-referenced data to calculate feedlot suitability ratings for land parcels. GIS spatial analysis tools were used to calculate these ratings based on a spectrum of indices including air, water and soil quality, land use compatibility, bylaw compliance, site access, water supply and other site location issues. The data used to calculate these ratings was acquired and converted from a wide variety of paper and digital sources. A comprehensive soil survey was completed as part of the MATLUP project.

The model calculated ratings for al parcels within the project area. The ratings were expressed as percentages, with increasing values indicating better choices for feedlot location. The model identified a number of distinct preferred regions for feedlot location. In addition, the model highlighted those parcels and areas that suggested poor site locations. However, some of the model-calculated parcel ratings were inconsistent with realistic land use planning considerations. These problems were associated with model design and implementation.

The MATLUP model did produce generally realistic options for feedlot location. Data acquisition and model implementation were more complicated than anticipated. Difficulties in obtaining appropriate data required the use of alternative data sources. The paucity of digital databases and the absence of appropriate economic and social required a significant project effort for GIS database development. In addition, substantial user effort was needed to develop and apply the land-use models.

The MATLUP model was a unique application that is not directly transferable to other planning issues. However, the process indicated that GIS technology could be applied to planning issues. The development of land use planning tools by planners that explicitly used use the spatial analysis capabilities of GIS systems, would be useful. Expanded application of the GIS technology would require a significant investment in thematic data base development. The project suggests that efforts on GIS applications would best concentrate on model development until there I improved access to land-related data in Alberta.

Barlow, F.D. (1991): Map analysis techniques for land use planning (MATLUP); Alberta Research Council, ARC/AGS Information Series 113, 54 p.