Developing tools to support complex infrastructure decision-making
Baker, D & Mahmood, MN 2012, 'Developing tools to support complex infrastructure decision-making', Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 59-72.
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The rapidly changing role of capital city airports has placed demands on surrounding infrastructure. The need for infrastructure management and coordination is increasing as airports and cities grow and share common infrastructure frameworks. The purpose of this paper is to document the changing context in Australia, where the privatisation of airports has stimulated considerable land development with resulting pressures on surrounding infrastructure provision. It aims to describe a tool that is being developed to support decision-making between various stakeholders in the airport region. The use of planning support systems improves both communication and data transfer between stakeholders and provides a foundation for complex decisions on infrastructure. The research uses a case study approach and focuses on Brisbane International Airport and Brisbane City Council. The research is primarily descriptive and provides an empirical assessment of the challenges of developing and implementing planning support systems as a tool for governance and decision-making. The research assesses the challenges in implementing a common data platform for stakeholders. Agency data platforms and models, traditional roles in infrastructure planning, and integrating similar data platforms all provide barriers to sharing a common language. The use of a decision support system has to be shared by all stakeholders with a common platform that can be versatile enough to support scenarios and changing conditions. The use of iPads® for scenario modelling provides stakeholders the opportunity to interact, compare scenarios and views, and react with the modellers to explore other options. The research confirms that planning support systems have to be accessible and interactive by their users. The Airport City concept is a new and evolving focus for airport development and will place continuing pressure on infrastructure servicing. A coordinated and efficient approach to infrastructure decision-making is critical, and an interactive planning support system that can model infrastructure scenarios provides a sound tool for governance.