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Spatially Integrated Social Science: Chapter 15
< Chapter 14 - Chapter 16 >

Shaping Policy Decisions with Spatial Analysis
Ted K. Bradshaw and Brian Muller

Abstract
Methods of spatial analysis have developed rapidly over the past decade; nonetheless, in our experience, the growing capacity of spatial analytical techniques continues in large part to be underutilized in policy decision making or planning. On the one hand, there is rapid growth in computing power and availability of specialized software; on the other hand, local policymakers by and large rely on experience, intuition and consultation and at most simple spreadsheet-based analysis or descriptive maps in making spatially explicit decisions. In this paper, we examine two examples of how spatial analysis can contribute to policy discussion. First, we report on recent work exploring the spatial distribution of small business loan guarantees in California cities. In this case, our findings led to identification of potential locations for an expanded state guarantee program. Second, we discuss applications of an urban growth model in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. Using sub-models to evaluate the cost of public services and viability of the local agricultural economy, we compare impacts and trade-offs among different types of urban forms. We conclude that expanded technological capacity, greater ability to include qualitative data, more institutional and organizational demand, and the opportunity for greater public participation are all helping policy makers to better use spatial analysis.

Figures

Figure 15.1

Figure 15.2

Figure 15.3

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