chapter  8
Nurturing Community Empowerment: Participatory Decision Making and Community Based Problem Solving Using GIS
ByLaxmi Ramasubramanian
Pages 16

In cities and communities across die world, architects, planners, decision makers, and individuals, are using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and related information technologies to understand and evaluate specific problems occurring in their physical and social environment. In the United States for example, the city of Milwaukee monitors housing stock (Ramasubramanian, 1996), while Oakland's Healthy Start program has analysed the high incidence of infant mortality (King, 1994a). GIS are being used to describe and explain diverse phenomena such as school drop out rates and provide decision support for a wide range of tasks, for example, the coordination of emergency service delivery in rural areas. These advances, as well as many other innovative uses of information technology and spatial analyses are reported in technical journals such as the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) Journal, and in the popular press through magazines like Time, and US News and World Report, as well in trade journals such as GIS World.