The evolution of public participation GIS (PPGIS) barriers in spatial planning practice

Nohemí Ramirez Aranda*, Jeroen De Waegemaeker, Nico Van de Weghe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Over the last three decades, PPGIS practices have shifted from a paper to digital format and have become cheaper, more user-friendly, and more versatile. The literature recognizes the potential of PPGIS, but researchers also note that the impact of PPGIS in practice is not yet pronounced. This study seeks to identify the barriers that hinder the widespread adoption of PPGIS in planning practice. Building on the literature, an analytical framework is developed to identify three main categories of barriers and their respective subcategories. This analytical framework is complemented by the results of five workshops with practitioners on the use of PPGIS in planning for green open spaces. This mirroring of literature and empirical data clarifies which (sub)categories are actually perceived as barriers and which are not. The findings show a shift from epistemological and technological barriers to cultural barriers that involve institutions and participants. While each of the three categories can start or stop a PPGIS process, having a pioneer in at least one category can aid in overcoming the remaining barriers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102940
JournalApplied Geography
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Community mapping
  • Implementation barriers
  • Institutions
  • Spatial planning


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