Scale in regional environmental planning : the reconstruction of North-Brabant, The Netherlands

A. Kooiman, S.S. Keshkamat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
149 Downloads (Pure)


Selection of scale in science and planning is often guided by ad-hoc decisions and arguments of accuracy and availability of existing data and resources. A more analytical approach to selection of scale and a bridge between theoretical insight and practical application is required. This paper reviews recent developments in thinking on theoretical concepts on scale from the perspective of geo-information science and compares these with a real life case. The concept of scale is framed as a three dimensional boundary object that explains scale choice as resultant of rationalities in reality-, model- and data scales. It is applied to a case-study of how issues of scale were handled in the Reconstruction program of the Province of North Brabant in The Netherlands. The Reconstruction is an ongoing regional spatial planning exercise that started in the year 2000 in response to major veterinary, environmental, social and economic problems in areas with concentrations of intensive livestock keeping. It combines legislation and policies at international, national, regional and municipal levels. Geographic information was produced to support and present the results of the plan process and related SEA. Scale of various intermediate and final geo-information products varied from 1:5000–1:400,000 and was dependent on the plan stage, plan status and target audience, plan instrument, level of participation, data characteristics, costs and technology. By comparing theory with the case study we bring out the criteria and conditions of selection of appropriate scale whereby the usefulness of academic research in geographic information science for planning and decision making could be improved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1250004
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of environmental assessment policy and management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • METIS-294496
  • IR-85974


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