A multi-agent planning system: A tool for ensuring public interest in planning

Rachel Katoshevski-Cavari, Theo Arentze, Harry Timmermans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Within the domain of public planning activity, public interest has had various interpretations at different times. The postmodernism concept, characterized by two fundamental aspects, creates the basic 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 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 the important question is whether it is possible to create a planning tool that guards issues of public interest. In addition, when looking at a smaller scale, this concept of pluralism and differences 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 serves for comparing different planning scenarios based on various indicators, responding thus to the above questions. The tool is a computerized multi-agent-based system that proposes a land use plan and plot facilities employing empirical data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-47
Number of pages22
JournalGeography Research Forum
Issue numberSPEC. ISSUE
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2009


  • Multi-agency
  • Public interest
  • Public planning
  • Tailor-made plan
  • Urban planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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