While there are standardized methods for incorporating natural resources into planning and design, cultural resources are treated as an afterthought or are considered only after unexpected discoveries or policies require procedural review. Bringing cultural resources to the front end of planning will have positive effects not only on the preservation of those resources, but on planning and design processes. However, to work toward this shift in practice it is necessary to evaluate the types of data useful for planning professionals, which in most cases are evaluative spatial data commonly contained in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases. In the United States, statewide cultural resource GIS databases are required in State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO). While universal, these databases vary in the terminologies used and the types of data recorded, necessitating a move toward standardization and broadened utility. Detailed evaluations of statewide cultural resource GIS databases provide insight into what needs standardization and how to move toward that goal. By moving toward standardization it is possible to bring cultural resources to the front end of the planning and design process. In turn, this will increase cultural resource preservation levels while decreasing the costs of project implementation by reducing the need to revisit project designs after they are put in place.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law