Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Geography and Geology
Residential development on the urban fringe is a complex process. Developers are confronted with a diversity of considerations that has made site selection a difficult task. A possible solution may be the creation of a comprehensive information system to aid developers in their general site selection decisions. This study, then, is intended as a first step toward the development of such a system. The primary objectives of the study were four-fold: (1) to demonstrate that there is more to a landscape than meets the eye; (2) to provide developers with a unique way of looking at some of the geographic concerns that confront them; (3) to hopefully provide an aid to developers regarding their general site selection decisions; and (4) to suggest a paradigm for a comprehensive geographic information system (GIS). The study is conceptually-oriented. A GIS was created in which the distribution of selected physical attributes was employed to determine site desirability for residential development. The following considerations were included in the study: (1) the availability of paved streets; (2) the availability of utilities (sewer, water, and gas); and (3) the availability of favorable topography. Physical "desirability" surfaces were generated for a study area to reveal the presence of, and accessibility to, each of the desired features. The culmination of the study was the creation of a final desirability surface which revealed aggregate residential development potential from the standpoint of economic feasibility. The system created in this study represents a working part of a proposed comprehensive GIS for residential development planning. Before any real-world applications are undertaken, an expansion of the system would be required. However, this working system displays potential as a good starting point towards the creation of more advanced systems that would accommodate ever-larger and more diverse data bases.
Juracek, Kyle E., "A geographic information system for residential development plans: Generating physical "desirability" surfaces" (1986). Student Work. 572.