A GIS and web-based decision support tool for the management of urban soils

Iain Hossack, Douglas Robertson, Peter Tucker, Andrew Hursthouse, Colin Fyfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Soils are fundamental to urban environmental quality. They have aesthetic and recreational functions in parks and gardens and contribute to the preservation of biodiversity. They also directly influence citizens' health. This paper describes the initial development of a decision support tool (DST) to appraise the urban soil resource and its valuable functions within a wide range of urban environments. It is aimed to provide assistance to local, national, and European authorities in the optimum planning and sustainable management of their soils resources. The DST is an integrated information technology system based on a spatially distributed environmental database management system of soil quality parameters and soil characteristics together with broader environmental factors. The integration is achieved through the implementation of the DST within the framework of a geographical information system coupled with risk assessment, pollution decay, and other models including the handling of "soft'' data. The DST will be web-based, allowing wide access to all stakeholders and citizens, providing on-line forums for consultations, and exchange of information and feedback among stakeholders. It is designed to support true transparency in decision making at the local and international levels. The paper focuses specifically on the development of the system architecture of the DST.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-509
Number of pages11
JournalCybernetics and Systems
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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