The emerging role of the Internet in municipal planning

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Kjerulf, Ann L.
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This research project examines the role of the Internet in the context of municipal planning during a six-month period beginning in April of 1999 and ending in September of 1999. The research objectives include: identifying current applications of the Internet in municipal planning agencies; describing the planning, design, and implementation considerations for the Web development process; investigating planners' perceptions of the Internet; and considering the future possibilities for the Internet in municipal planning practice. The Internet phenomenon is first explored in terms of its socio-cultural implications for public participation in planning, issues of access and security, and the perception of community. Next, the evolution of computers in planning is explored and some of the practical applications of the Internet are presented through the use of current examples. The development of such applications is also explored in terms of planning, design, and implementation considerations with the intent to provide some practical guidelines for planning agencies. Subsequently, the research process is explained with particular focus on an Internet-based survey developed with HTML. The results of this survey are presented and provide insight to the status of Internet usage in Canadian municipal planning agencies. From the results, one can infer that municipal planners feel positively about the use of the Internet in planning practice and that the obstacles to the development of Internet-based applications are trivial compared to the possibilities that exist.