The Landscape Guide

6.3 Utilities planning with GIS

Contents list

In densely populated urban areas, local residents often have the idea that the utility companies are conspiring to disrupt their lives. Soon after a road is resurfaced, water engineers dig it up to lay a pipe (Figure 7). The road is patched, only to be dug up again by gas, telephone, electricity, drainage and cable TV companies. Not infrequently, they damage each other's service lines, so that further excavations are required. GIS offer a solution to the problem, which is being implemented in many countries. Soon, the exact age and location of every service line will be recorded in a GIS. Plans for repairs and renewals will be logged. When one utility company is planning excavations, it will be able to coordinate its work with that of other companies. The principle is clear and important: separate planning must take place for each utility, and there must be an ongoing endeavour to harmonize plans. This applies to other categories of planning, as discussed in the rest of this essay, and to other types of utility. The routing of electric power lines, for example, needs to be done in relation to scenic quality considerations, recreational use of land and planned settlement patterns

6.7 Roadworks