Geodesign: a Participatory Process for the Expression of Environmental Values?

Authors: Matthew Kuniholm*, University of Maryland
Topics: Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: Geodesign, PPGIS, Participatory Action Research
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: 8224, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Is geodesign a participatory process? If so, what role might geodesign have as a participatory action research technique? This paper considers these questions in light of an ongoing participatory action research case study involving the use of a geodesign approach to land management and park planning. The case study is located on a 750-acre (303-hectare) site of historical, spiritual and environmental significance adjacent to the Potomac River in Maryland, USA. In 2014, the State of Maryland created a State Park on land previously owned by the Jesuit Order of the Catholic Church and still home to an active parish of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. An update to the park management plan is needed in order to accommodate the land management interests of the catholic parish, which is now entirely surrounded by the park. In a context of conflicting environmental values and contrasting land management goals, can a participatory geodesign approach to landscape planning bring stakeholders together to create an actionable park management plan while also achieving action research results? This paper shares lessons learned from the case study and discusses the challenges and opportunities associated with the use of geodesign as a participatory action research technique.

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