Technology tools in planning

San Francisco-CA


Technology in planning can be brought with some different kinds of online tools. Depending on the subject, these tools are used for achieving the results in the safest convenience and cheaper process. For instance, there are ten technologies that could be beneficial in the planning process. These technologies are included Web publishing, Web surveys, Mapping, Video sharing, Broadcast email, Collaboration tools, Crowd sourcing, Website analytic, Web conferencing and Social media. Each technology also has some tools that are used by planners or other professions.

    Online tools have some capacities for doing different researches that cannot gain access through face-to-face process. Both online tools and face-to-face contacts have their own advantages and disadvantages. Online tools are more convenient and accessible, but they do not have the emotional impact of personal conversation. These days, a combination of face-to-face and online commitment could be an effective way in the planning process and can make a difference. For example, in some surveys that we know the participants, it will be the best way if we choose face-to face contact instead of online surveys. On the other hand, online tools are appropriate ways for public managers when they want to get more comments from the public. So, by using online tools, a huge number of people from different areas could be involved in a planning process. For achieving this aim, public managers can set up different online tools to get more short-term or long-term involvement in their plans such as Wiki tools, Crowd sourcing tools and mapping tools.

    Furthermore, some of the online tools and other social Medias could be used effectively in the transit planning.  Sometimes, public transit uses the social media for advertising or influencing on people. In this regard, media has a good potential as a tool in different researches. Planners can use social media tools for gathering different kinds of information related to the age, race, number or education of people who are using public transportation and they can recognize crowded ways, the peak of traffic and the needs or demands for the public transportation in a specific area.  Social media help planners to know about public thought, urban issues and public services and using them in the planning process. The planners also can use the tools to encourage people for using public transportation. In addition, social media is a good way for public agencies to find out the comments of people about the transit ways.

   Technology in this era also helps people to use their own cars less than before, or people without a private car can use others’ cars for travelling or commuting. There are some different agencies and websites in the United States that help people to have access to this way of commuting. One of these concepts is peer to each other for sharing cars. In this concept, people who have their own cars share their cars with strangers and beside helping the public transit, they earn some extra money.People share their information in a particular website in order to be more accessible and safer for public. These days the numbers of people who intend to use different kinds of public transportation, instead of having their own cars are significantly increasing in the United States. Some big companies like Zip car and General motors also have invested on it. So, it is important that this way of transit to be assessed and planned more for using in different areas in order to be more profitable both for the owners and users.

Focus on methods

Web survey is a practical online tool that can be used in different researches and planning process for getting information or comments from a wide variety of people or a specific group of participants.  As this technology is cheap and accessible and also saves time in gathering information, it is a good way for using in the researches. Thus, for studying on a case study about social problems in a residential neighborhood, it is a good way for getting information from the residents of that area who are more familiar about the existing problems, concerns or demands. And also, it helps to collect a huge number of data about the specific subject. In this way, professions use the data or responses to find the main problems and find the best solutions.

Video sharing is another tool used for subjects that should be more tangible for professions and/or public. Also sometimes, this way is used in the profession for sharing ideas, criticizing something or advertising some beneficial ideas. This way could be more effective if it is used for leading the thinking or changing the wrong existing consumption in politic or law areas. This technology also could be used as a teaching instrument for online courses or optional studies. There are some famous public tools like YouTube that are good examples for using in this technology.

 Web conferencing is one of the most important tools that can be used by professions especially for education purposes, online courses and online conferences. In this regard, a group of people from all around the world can meet each other for a specific subject at the same time and share their ideas together. So, it is a good way for fixing time and place and participating in such programs. Sometimes, people or professions due to their work or their personal problems cannot leave their own places or travel distances for a work or educational meeting; in these situations the technology help them to bring their ideas to the public when they are in their own places. Therefore, the technology can be used for educational and business meetings and also can be used as a tool for developing ideas in all around the world.

  The last but not least is social media, one of the tools that these days are considered by a huge number of people from public to the professions. Social media contain a group of different Medias like newspapers, television and radio, and also online Medias like different websites or applications on the cell phones or tablets. These online tools are increasingly used by most people, so it is a good way to share ideas or different projects in an easy way and get more audiences. This way also is an appropriate way for advertising by the agencies or different companies or getting comments from the public and/or professions about your projects.


Land use and transportation can get more influence by developing technology. Technology has affected researches in planning process and it will also continue to affect the planning in the future. For example, different online tools like online surveys and social Medias help to gather some information for a transportation problem or decide about the land use. In this regard, technology also shows planners the areas that have more conflict due to traffic or bad zoning. Different movie-maker tools can show us the future of our planning according to the given data.

   In addition, through developing technology, cities will be smarter in the aspect of transportation modes and zoning. Most people will access to the different transportation applications in their cell phones and they will observe traffic congestions in different ways before travelling and making a decision about choosing their ways. Nobody will get lost through access of mapping. So, mapping should be developed and included more addresses in more details. In the future also a large number of people should use car sharing and public transportation that will have been developed more by that time and different kinds of travelling will be added.  In the smart cities, we will see more public spaces where people will have been educated by different video tools around the places and technology will have helped planners to determine different zones to be more accessible by public transportation in a short time.