This research endeavours to make a distinct practical contribution due to the nature of the funding received. The project has been funded through the Australian Research Council's Strategic Partnership with Industry - Research and Training (SPIRT) Scheme (Project #9600222) in collaboration with the industry partner - Queensland Department of Local Government and Planning. The context of the ARC project is to examine planning issues associated with the growth or decline of urban centres located in regional Queensland.
The thesis investigates integrating aggregated demographic and socio-economic information with disaggregated environmental and physical datasets in order to formulate and evaluate urban growth scenarios. It proposes that such an approach can enhance the planning and management of socio-economic growth and decline within a region. It is both an exploratory and comparative study, drawing on a wide range of literature
spanning the disciplines of decision theory, geographical information science, sociology, econometrics and urban and regional planning. The study is exploratory in that three land use planning scenarios have been formulated using a variety of modelling techniques. It is comparative in that the advantages and disadvantages of each of the three models are evaluated.
The purpose of this thesis is to address the following research statement:
"To efficiently plan for future urban growth it is necessary to spatially disaggregate regional demographic and socio-economic information, and to combine this with environmental and physical information within land use planning models."
In order to properly investigate this an integrated decision support framework has been developed. The framework is based on a scenario planning approach and precipitates the linkages between aggregated
demographic and socio-economic datasets and disaggregated environmental and physical datasets used in the derivation of land use scenarios for a study area.
The study area is the Wide Bay-Burnett region, situated on the east coast of Australia in the State of Queensland. The region comprises twenty-one local government areas, of which the Shire of Hervey Bay has been selected for detailed local analysis. Hervey Bay is one of the dominant urban growth centres within the region, especially in the tourism and property development sectors.
Both comprehensive regional and urban analysis has been undertaken. Regional modelling techniques used include population projections, demographic analysis, location quotient analysis, input-output analysis, cluster analysis and shift-share analysis. These techniques have been applied to analyse trends in the Wide Bay- Burnett region in order to identify and understand the key performance indicators
influencing the region. This analysis also identifies those factors that potentially influence the future allocation of land for particular uses.
Urban analysis of Hervey Bay focuses on the development of three land use planning scenarios, which integrate the results obtained from the wider regional analysis and utilise a comprehensive suite of environmental and physical data layers available for the Shire. The three alternative planning scenarios developed for Hervey Bay are:
• Scenario A - 'Continued growth', based upon existing socio-economic trends and local planning instruments;
• Scenario B - 'Maximising rates base', based upon the economic objective of maximising the council rate base; and
• Scenario C - 'Sustainable development', which makes predictions of land use based on the objective of satisfying social, economic and environmental criteria for sustainable development.
Each of the three land use planning scenarios is developed using different datasets and algorithms. Scenario A uses a trends projection technique which links industry sector employment trends to appropriate land uses, and spatially allocates land using land transition rules, an accessibility index, and a zoning compatibility matrix. Scenario B is derived using optimisation modelling of land valuation data. A linear programming model is used to formulate the future land needs for the Shire. The allocation component of the model uses land transition rules, an accessibility index, and a zoning compatibility matrix - as used in formulating Scenario A. Scenario C is derived using a number of social, economic, and environmental factors and assigning weightings of importance to each factor using a multiple criteria analysis approach. The land use planning scenarios are presented through the use of maps and tables within a geographical information system, which
delineate future possible land use allocations in Hervey Bay up until 2021.
The land use planning scenarios are evaluated using a goal achievement matrix. The matrix is constructed using a number of spatial criteria derived from planning objectives outlined in the Wide Bay-Burnett regional growth management framework and Hervey Bay Town Planning Scheme. The relative weights for each of the objectives have been derived from feedback obtained through a focus group survey of stakeholders. The objectives and the subsequent weightings are used to evaluate the efficiency of each of the land use planning scenarios. A comparative analysis outlining the strengths and weaknesses of each of the underlying models used to create the land use planning scenarios is also undertaken.
The thesis makes a significant contribution in the formulation and application of an integrated decision support framework used to create and evaluate land use planning
scenarios. Three different urban modelling techniques have been incorporated within the framework. Each of these techniques has shown through 'proof-of-concept' how regional (socio-economic) data, coupled with urban (environmental and physical) data, can be used to efficiently plan for future urban growth. This has been achieved through the successful creation of three land use planning scenarios for Hervey Bay covering a 20 year timeframe (2001-2021). Other significant contributions include:
• Comparative analysis of different land use models.
• Use of a holistic approach to formulate a measure of efficiency for evaluating different land use planning scenarios.
• Formulation of planning models and on-line planning tools.
• Potential for planning models to address growth and decline.
• Development of a technique for spatially disaggregating socio-economic data.
• Input into existing regional and urban planning methodologies and strategies.
The findings from the research also highlight areas where future research should be undertaken. These include:
• Instigating further involvement by community and stakeholder groups in the plan making process.
• Continued research and development of interactive on-line planning tools.
• Development of geographical visualisation techniques for exploring land use planning scenarios in three-dimensional space to enhance the understanding of possible decision outcomes.
The emphasis of the research is to successfully show that through the disaggregation of regional demographic and socio-economic information, and the combination of this with environmental and physical information within land use planning models, the efficient planning of future urban growth can be achieved.
The thesis indicates new research directions that further assist in the theoretical and practical understanding of spatial planning processes and large-scale urban modelling.