Geodesign as a platform for the design and planning of sustainable communities represents a renewed approach, and provides a framework for addressing current urban and environmental problems. Geodesign is an emerging and evolving concept that aims to address key issues that impact the planning and management of human settlement and activities, by bridging the gap between geographic information sciences and spatial design. Indeed, even thoughone of the first GISs was designed in the sixties at the Harvard Laboratory for Computer Graphics, based on the innovative work of Ian McHarg, GIS tools are still not used very often by the community of spatial designers. Carl Steinitz from the Harvard Graduate School of Design considers that “Geodesign is geography by design”. As a matter of fact, Geodesign does not really refer to a new concept. Neverthelessa new dynamic that aims at providing significant updates had started in December 2008 at the NCGIA special meeting on “Spatial Concepts in GIS and Design”. Following this meeting, the first Geodesign Summit took place in Redlands (CA) in January 2010, followed by a second and a third edition in 2011 and 2012. Geodesign was defined by Mike Flaxman (from MIT) as “a set of techniques and enabling technologies for planning built and natural environments in an integrated process, including project conceptualization, analysis, design specification, stakeholder participation and collaboration, design creation, simulation, and evaluation (among other stages). Geodesign is a design and planning method which tightly couples the creation of design proposals with impact simulations informed by geographic contexts” GeoDesign (the big D one) as a creative, deliberative, uncertain, multi-actors, multi-scale and multi-thematic process, needs an innovative theoretical basis, tools, and supporting practices in order to fit its complex requirements.
Stéphane ROCHE, Michael GOODCHILD