At the INSPIRE conference in Florence, Ewa Klien, Joachim Rix and Didier Vancutsen gave an overview of an interesting EU project called Plan4business. Plan4business is designed to address the challenges faced by urban and regional planners today. Datasets are not easy to use for business issues such as comparative analysis, monitoring and analysing urban statistics, or developing urban inquiries and projects. Private and public sector researchers, planners and professionals from the real estate world, insurance, energy, agriculture, and others as well as investors realize that they need to develop the ability to used spatial datasets from many sources to perform complex analysis and then visualize the results for non-technical decision makers. The Plan4business project is aiming at developing a web-based platform which will offer urban and regional planning data users a full range of compatible planning data and services such as transport and energy infrastructure, regional, environmental, and zoning planning. The Plan4business project started in April 2012 and will continue through March 2014.
The Plan4business platform is intended to be competitive from a business perspective. It is intended that the platform will provide content as well as analysis and visualisation services via both an Application Programming Interface (API) for application developersand an interactive web frontend for end users. Functions offered will have to range from simple statistical analysis to complex trend detection and to 2D/3D representations. The Plan4business platform is intended to provide opportunities for planners, private consultants, public and private data providers, and researchers.
To provide some idea of the type of planning projects that are envisaged as using this platform., a number of operational use cases have been defined for both the private and the public sectors.
- Spatial Planners, Planning engineers
- Banks and Insurances Services
- Energy and environmental services
- Health Services
- Commercial Services
- Real Estate
- Telecommunication Services
- Tourism and Travel Services
- Transport and Logistics Services
- Security Services
- Spatial Planning Authorities
- Fiscal Authorities
- Regional Development Agencies
- Other Public Services
- Public researchers / Universities
Energy and environmental services
For example, the Energy and environmental services use case involves an environmental agency that needs to design and propose a number of policies for managing and moderating noise levels in urban realm, both residential settlements and productive/industrial areas. Policy designers have to assess criterion, together with competent local authorities, to limit/contain noise level to which humans are exposed, particularly in built-up areas, in public parks or other quiet areas in an agglomeration, in quiet areas in open country, near schools, hospitals and other noise-sensitive buildings areas.