Supporting cross-sector, cross-domain planning through interoperating toolkits

Journal of Conservation PlanningCrist PJ

Under a hypothesis that using multiple geospatial decision support tools in a common framework could help planners examine alternatives across multiple domains (e.g. land, coastal, estuarine), this article's authors developed information workflow models, assigned appropriate tools to necessary functions, and tested the resulting toolkits in two pilot studies in the Southeastern United States. The integrated toolkits worked effectively and demonstrated the ability to combine data and analysis across traditionally separate sectors and the land-marine domain divide. The article describes challenges regarding data needs, expert knowledge, and stakeholder engagement, suggesting that our ability to integrate tools across sectors and domains may be ahead of our institutional abilities to conduct integrated planning. As institutional barriers are lowered out of necessity to deal with these pressing problems, and capacity for advanced spatial planning increases, such toolkits will be poised to support new integrated approaches.


NatureServe Author(s)


  • Crist PJ, Walker D, Madden KM, Allen T, Hittle J and Eslinger D. 2013. Supporting cross-sector, cross-domain planning through interoperating toolkits. Journal of Conservation Planning, Vol. 9, pp. 21-37