The paper explains how complex knowledge was built up to support decision-making in three environment and landscape planning processes: the first experience relates to the definition of EU programmes in the Liguria Region, the second to the building up of a Cinque Terre National Park plan and the last to the strategic projects of new railways and motorways in the Greater Genoa metropolitan area. Planning support systems were built according to a cognitive procedure which organised data, processed information and produced knowledge at subsequent synthetic and interpretative levels, using the geo-information technologies of GIS. The data and their meaning were structured by using conceptualization and categorization procedures, whilst information processing was carried out through qualitative, morphological and topological procedures. Environmental and landscape-related knowledge was acquired through the use of complex models of the three phenomena planned. The three experiences are significant not only in terms of the technological instrument adopted, but above all for the way in which it was used. Keywords: planning support systems, complex knowledge, environmental and landscape indicators, categorisation and conceptualisation approach, GIS technologies
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