Considerations on the Use of Visual Tools in Planning Processes: A Brazilian Experience
This paper assumes that citizen participation does not really happen in relation to current urban planning practice for a number of reasons. First of all, many planning processes do not involve citizens as ideally they should. Secondly, although if they involve citizens, many planning processes are not able to communicate them the actual questions to deal with. Thirdly, many citizens have not a sufficient knowledge or ability to understand the planning issues. Therefore, the paper supposes that the use of visual interfaces can collaborate to organize data and improve the involvement of citizens within planning processes. Focusing on the Brazilian reality, the case study present two selected areas with great relevance for the Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte’s (MRBH): Santa Lúcia, within the municipality of Belo Horizonte, and the neighborhood Vale do Sereno, in the Nova Lima municipality. The areas result under a great pressure and intensification of anthropic interventions, containing consolidated occupancy. The example on the two areas shows how urban planning still lacks a systematization of data. This also implies that the two municipalities not consider the communication of information as a priority for developing cities. Although current information technology can offer advantages for implementing the planning processes though visual languages, harder efforts are required to build the communication process between people, including communication as part of the planning process.
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