Visualizing Planning Intentions: From Heterogeneous Information to Maps

  • Gaëtan PalkaEmail author
  • Simona R. Grădinaru
  • Gertrud Jørgensen
  • Anna M. Hersperger
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Innovative approaches, tools and visualization techniques for analyzing land use structures and dynamics of cities and regions


The future development of urban regions is frequently envisioned through strategic spatial plans. The main objectives and means of spatial development contained in these documents, called planning intentions, can be fragmented and are commonly presented throughout the planning document in text, graphs, tables, diagrams, and maps. Presentation of the information rarely allows for clear visualization of each planning intention and of how the synthesis of all planning intentions builds an overall spatial development strategy. In this paper, we present a method to translate planning intentions into maps in order to better understand their spatiality. Focusing on the case study of Copenhagen, we conduct an analysis of the content of the urban region’s latest strategic spatial plan (i.e., the Fingerplan 2013) in order to identify the main planning intentions. For each of these planning intentions, we systematically collect all information contained in the plan, such as details on location, extent, and fuzziness. We then transform the main planning intentions into pixel-based maps to visualize the planning intentions. Finally, a map of the composite planning intention is presented. This paper contributes to a better understanding of the spatiality of strategic planning.


Planning intention Copenhagen Fingerplan Spatiality Visualization of planning 



This work was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (ERC TBS Consolidator Grant number BSCGIO 157789).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

This article respects the ethical standards of Springer.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swiss Federal Research Institute WSLLand Change Science GroupBirmensdorfSwitzerland
  2. 2.Centre for Environmental Research and Impact StudiesUniversity of BucharestBucharestRomania
  3. 3.Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource ManagementUniversity of CopenhagenFrederiksberg CDenmark

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