Building community sustainability with geographic information systems

Dirk S. Hovorka, Nancy A. Auerbach

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Conceptualization of Green IS must look beyond the limited horizon of profit-driven corporate sustainability to reframe the activities and policies of communities to produce adaptable, sustainable, and resilient practices. As web-enabled Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and low cost spatial analytic systems become accessible, communities gain a generative capacity to pursue community sustainability as they face increasing environmental and growth challenges. By expanding the boundaries of Design Science Research, we argue that information systems have a generative capacity, which enables reframing and recasting reality based upon alternative values. This surfaces the opportunity for the design and implementation of GIS to reduce information asymmetry, empower communities, and provide a history of decision-making, thereby enabling monitoring of the components of sustainability. Community members may incorporate local data, present alternative development/conservation scenarios, and gain a voice in the planning process. From this perspective the system design process itself represents an opportunity for situated social action in the formation and implementation of community values. Synthesizing these perspectives, we propose that GIS development and use at a community level is a potentially constructive social process of value formation which can enable communities to envision their own futures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th Americas Conference on Information Systems
Subtitle of host publicationAMCIS 2010
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event Americas Conference on Information Systems 2010 -, Lima, Peru
Duration: 12 Aug 201015 Aug 2010
Conference number: 16th


Conference Americas Conference on Information Systems 2010
Abbreviated titleAMCIS 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'Building community sustainability with geographic information systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this