When GIS was Rejected: Implications for collaborative planning and public participation GIS (PPGIS)
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In November of 2001, community residents in the city of Eugene, Oregon stated that there is an “excessive concentration” of social services in two of its neighborhoods. In response, the City Council suggested that mapping and analyzing the spatial distribution of social services would be an important component to understand and address this matter. A Task Force comprised of neighborhood representatives, social service representatives, and two neutral participants was developed to explore this issue in a collaborative method. Mapping services were offered to the task force, but was rejected by the group because members thought that mapping the locations of social service and neighborhoods would not accurately capture the issue, would be too complex, too subjective, and a waste of time. This paper explores the decision of the group to reject the use of GIS, the general failure of the Task Force, and suggests broader implications related to the use of GIS in collaborative and public participation planning endeavors.