Grodzisk Mazowiecki is located south-west of Warsaw along the railroad to Poznań and Berlin. Well managed, successful community of 25000 inhabitants is facing intensive growth due to development of logistic cluster and expansion on new residential areas. One can estimate that the total population of community could duplicate within next 15 years. It’s an attractive area due to low land prices at acceptable car travel time from Warsaw. In order to adopt new development the community decided to prepare The Study of Conditions and Directions of Development with appropriate landuse plan. As the starting point of work relevant cadastral, environmental and socio-economical data from various sources were integrated with use if GIS. The first project of landuse plan that was ready after several months proposed very extensive residential areas. Due to intentions of land owners the valuable parts of ecological zone was even included into developable area. It would probably stimulate the sprawl of low density development. Such plans are very often easily accepted due:
  • strong private property protection after rejection of central planning
  • low cost of land and low transportation cost
  • intensive small private investments based on cost strategies
  • strongly dissipated land ownership (many owners of little pieces of land)
  • relatively low taxes on properties based on current use of land, not on a property value
With two points of view of the land owners that want to sell their land and of Community Council that wants to minimize the costs of new development it’s not possible to optimise the solution. One can than assume that finally the rationality of spatial decision depends on ability of various actors to learn and negotiate. Centre for Spatial Management designed simple application that helps to evaluate the landuse policy impact on community development. This application can be used by political decision makers, urban planners, citizens and administrational staff. It combines rich GI database, external scenarios, demand forecast, decision options and interface that allows easily to simulate future landuse pattern. To illustrate the use of that application one can consider the matrix with four simple decision options. The option of farming protection is important consideration to Grodzisk Mazowiecki because the community is covered with high quality soils that are strongly protected by national regulations. The simulation results are illustrated on next page. The simulation was based on vector data model and more than 20 thousands of spatial objects were taken info account. It is also based on balancing demand and the supply of land. Transition potential for each site take into account local land suitability, accessibility and interactions with other sites. The modelling is simplified to only one landuse class so no competition between different landuses is resolved. Never the less "residential areas" are responsible for 80% of land consumption so the model reflects the real problem. More over industrial areas, logistic bases can’s be located outside the zone defined by landuse plan. The simulation models one cycle of landuse development what can be understood as 5 year horizon. Presented application was inspired by development of tools like INDEX, WHAT IF or COMMUNITY VIZ in United States. It’s also worth to point out that there are probably more similarities between cities development in Poland and in USA than in Germany. Since the application was designed to support public discussion the experience shows that the best results are achieved when consultant-moderator is operating the software is front of disputants. The simulation result is quickly shown as a map and can be supported by calculation of indicators describing, for instance aspects of sustainable landuse. The feedback then can be given to decision makers and new combination of spatial policy options in can be tested and compared. It makes it similar to computer game that facilitates the learning process. This can help to raise the public awareness about the cost of urban sprawl and help to reduce the risk of competitive land protection policies that combined together lead to results that were not wanted by any of actors. Such multimedia spectacle can also dramatically increase attractiveness of spatial planning proces