Planning & Transport Systems & Solutions
Planning activities, whether for urban or rural development or transport systems, now require ever wider use of geospatial technologies, from GIS tools to imagery collection and processing, and data integration from multiple data sources. Planning encompasses a wide range of areas, including:
- local neighbourhood planning and design,
- rural planning for agriculture and environmental protection,
- regional economic and spatial planning,
- national strategic planning and socioeconomic analysis,
- transport planning and modelling at all scales, and
- development planning including public consultation.
Geospatial technologies aid in effective decision making by:
- Providing methods for effective information sharing.
- Making data available in forms that are accessible, interpretable, and maintainable.
- Supporting data exchange among planners and decision makers, and supporting public engagement.
- Providing data in a form that facilitates integration with other data, for analysis and scenario modelling.
- Providing the ability to fully describe an area or region by joining mapping and operational data, i.e. production, financial, output, population, transport.
- Offering tools for efficient and accurate data creation and capture at a reasonable cost.
- Enabling the collection and update of in situ data effectively.
- Providing current data that delivers greater confidence in decision making.
- Developing skills to use, maintain and support these functions and systems by building in-house capabilities.
Compass have delivered projects, provided expert services, and developed products for all of the above functions related to planning and transport systems.
Journey Time Modelling
Working with the Dublin Transport Office, precursor of the current National Transport Authority, Compass undertook a network modelling and data analysis project to model minimum journey times for a series of centres across the Dublin area. This work involved creation of a road and walking network and modelling of walking and public transport times in a detailed and iterative manner. The National Transport Authority makes active use of the solution, incorporating data and surface mapping that clearly present journey times and population catchments for key regional centres.
Data Capture for Planning and Transport
Combining our knowledge of data, surveying, and mobile mapping systems, Compass have completed substantial data capture and management projects for a range of planning and transport authorities, including:
- street furniture surveys to faciliate conservation during metro works,
- cycle and bus lane surveys involving GPS, video, photo, and condition data capture,
- bike-based informal ‘desire line’ surveys of local connectivity, and
- urban tree survey methodology development and rollout.
Self-Service Planning Tool for the Public
The web-based Self Service Pre-Planning Tool allows a public user to assess the planning constraints in the area where they wish to build. Using the mapping system, users can find their area of interest, trace the outline of their plot of land, and produce a report highlighting constraints in the area. The report can be accessed during planning consultations with the planning authority, and guides the public in identifying suitable locations for development, engaging the public with the planning authority in a continuous way. Since development in partnership with two local authorities, the system has since been rolled out to many regions. See working systems for Wexford County Council; Mayo County Council; Laois County Council
Enhancing Local Neighbourhoods
The objective of this study was to model accessibility to neighbourhood facilities by various populations and user types. Points and Zones of Interest included community centres; local, neighbourhood & regional centres; recycling bring-banks; parks; playgrounds; schools; industrial areas; bus stops; train and metro stations.
The study was supported by an extensive bike-based field survey that utilised mobile GIS/GPS with a linked camera and video. With this and other existing data a comprehensive transport network was created, including informal desire lines. This was integrated using a data model and other planning data from within the planning authority. Following the survey and data modelling phase, advanced network analysis and modelling was undertaken and interactive maps and statistics were prepared. This accurate and comprehensive material supports consultation among staff in the local authority and also with public groups.
National Central Statistics Office of Ireland
As the official national statistics agency, the CSO required a mapping and data management system with the ability to integrate with other national statistical databases. This was delivered through an initla phase of work, while following phases widened the range and depth of use of the mapping and data system and a pilot project to develop and test a mobile data recording system for population census enumerators.
Analysis of Commuting & Connections in a City Region
The European Regional Development Fund POLYNET project on ‘Sustainable Management of European Polycentric Mega-City Regions’ examined changes in functional connections and information flows in major urban regions across North West Europe. The Compass team collated data for the Dublin region and undertook statistical analyses for all the city regions, including special and functional polycentricity, urban self containment, and rank size analysis.
Arising from this work was a landmark publication in city studies, examining the complex socio-economic systems that play a pivotal role in regional urban networks worldwide, with internationally-renowned authors offering expert analysis, aided by regional case studies and detailed colour maps. See “Learning From Mega-City Regions In Europe“.