A Multi-agent Planning System - A Tool for Ensuring Public Interest in Planning

  • Rachel Katoshevski-Cavari Ministry of Interior
  • Theo Arentze Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Harry Timmermans Eindhoven University of Technology
Keywords: Urban Planning, Public Planning, Public Interest, Multi-agency, Tailor-made Plan


Within the domain of public planning activity, public interest has had various interpretations at different times. The postmodernism concept, characterized by two very fundamental aspects, creates the basic and elementary conditions for a tailor-made plan.  The recognition of differences, which is the first aspect, leads to the requirement to plan based on understanding the specific needs of the target population. The second aspect, the rejection of universalism, strengthens this basic understanding of targeted planning. It deals with the awareness that any urban plan has to be unique and unbound to the legitimacy of universalism. When dealing with the link between urban planning and public interest some important questions exist: how can we ensure that the public interest is maintained? Or, is it possible to create a planning tool that will guard issues of public interest? In addition, when looking at a smaller scale, this concept of pluralism and differences, which should be the foundation for any urban plan, raises more questions of how to distinguish and define specific public interest of the population. And even if we are able to do that, what is the optimized plan reflecting this interest?  This paper suggests a planning tool that is able to create a tailor-made plan for a group of people, and also serve for comparing different planning scenarios based on various indicators. Thus this tool responds to the above defined questions. The tool is a computerized multi-agent-based system that proposes a land use plan and plot facilities employing empirical data.


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