A Community Planning Collaborative in Orange County, Florida

Orange County, Florida

About This Project

This project brought together several decision support systems and their developers to run a public charette and visioning process for a 35,000 acre development site in the county. NatureServe, in collaboration with the Florida Natural Area Inventory, developed a NatureServe Vista project that formed the basis for the work in the charette. We imported development scenarios produced by other tools, evaluated those scenarios for their implications to biodiversity, and worked with stakeholders to develop a mitigation scenario.

In the Transit Oriented Development scenario, there was a large gap in conservation goal achievement and a high degree of incompatibility (indicated in darker reds) in the primary development area (upper central/left area of map).


The Community Planning Collaborative (CPC) initiative was designed to apply tools for community design and decision making to a real planning problem in Orange County, Florida and demonstrate how decision support systems can improve the quality of results and overall democratic nature of land use planning and community development.


From the Community Planning Collaborative report:

"Through an unprecedented collaborative effort between decision support tool providers, national experts in democracy and planning, and community members (local planners, stakeholders, general public, and educational institutions), Orange County gained a clearer understanding of their current decision support capacity and identified new decision support tools to ensure the integration of good information, comprehensive analysis, and strong civic engagement for current and future."

For the NatureServe portion of this project, the results of the mitigation planning suggested that the core development be relocated to protect previously unrecognized biodiversity values. FNAI was subsequently contracted to do further surveys and Vista analyses by the county.