GIS Center Workshop on Urban Planning and Land Use Design

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Arial photo of UM-Flint campus.
Arial photo of UM-Flint campus.

The University of Michigan-Flint’s Geographic Information Systems Center will hold an urban planning and land use design workshop in August.

This will be the most specialized training session it has held since the GIS Center opened in the fall of 2013. It will also serve as a springboard for future workshops, said Troy Rosencrants, the manager of the GIS Center.

“We figured this is a good way to start,” Rosencrants said. “It is something different that other people aren’t offering too much.”

The two-hour workshop, open to the public, will focus on the software program CommunityViz.

“It allows planners to create scenarios based on different layers, different data they already have and how it may progress out, thirty years even,” Rosencrants said about the software package, which is put out by Pathways.

This allows urban planners to evaluate multiple scenarios; visualizing data such as populations and households with different methods such as maps, charts, and 3-D displays.

The workshop will be held August 12 from 10 a.m. to noon. The price is $50 and includes refreshments and a light lunch afterwards.

“We have the capacity for 18 but if we get more than that, we may open another session,” he said.

The center has held multiple workshops since opening, but these have largely been introductory sessions, Rosencrants said. Future sessions, such as the upcoming class, will include more specific purposes. It hopes to hold multiple sessions every year, he said.

GIS is used for a variety of purposes, such as transportation routing, biological assessments, data mapping, and groundwater modeling. The center utilizes GIS and other geospatial technology, such as remote sensing and GPS, for research, education, and community service.

The center has worked with municipal planners in Genesee County but this workshop should help expand its reach beyond the region, while building more inroads within the area, Rosencrants said.

“That is what we are looking to do, reach out into the community and help anyway that’s possible,” he said.

Robert is a staff writer in University Communications & Marketing. Contact him with comments, questions, and story ideas.