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IGC Project Requirements

There is an important overarching question regarding IGC requirements….. flexibility vs comparability….and a balance must be found. We do not prescribe sites, or methods or software or who participates in making the studies. We do prescribe three scenarios (adapted to the context), three common time stages across all projects, the idea that change will vary between the time-stages, that ten systems be considered and that these systems interact, and that all project contexts are defined as square “clips” at agreed sizes and scales, using common color palettes for charts, diagrams, and designs.

We expect all teams to adaptively apply the Geodesign framework and workflow as proposed below by Steinitz (2012), or any other workflow that enables making the required IGC studies.

Download "A framework for geodesign" and "IGC workflow" diagrams based on: 2012, Steinitz, C., A Framework for Geodesign, Redlands California, Esri Press.

What are the ten systems and their color codes?

Are there flexibilities in system selection?

Yes. First, we encourage participants to use the list on the right above to find additional systems for which we have already defined colors. If your system is different, please make a proposal, accompanied by an RGB specification for its color so that we can make your proposal available to all.

What if a locale has different official standard colors?

We will require a common color code when preparing presentation material within the collaboration but any participant can set up two versions of all graphics.

Will there be standard study area sizes and scales? In metric?

We want all study areas to be set in a square format chosen from a standard scale to allow for project-to-project comparison. The square size must be chosen from the range 0.5kn, 1km, 2km, 5km, 10km, 20km, 40km, 80km, 160km but can encompass a study area of any shape. It will be the basis for coordination in graphic formats for presenting and comparing the work……and because it will look better when all the IGC work is exhibited and published all together. We are standardizing on using metric measures for all IGC reporting.

IGC 2018-9 projects covered the full range from 0.5 x 0.5 km to 160 x 160 km

What are the several scenarios and time-stages?

What assumptions are made about global change and the innovations that designers can use to address change?

  1. An expert group identified twelve assumptions about global change expected to impact the world in the period to 2050.

  2. We identified nine systems that are fundamental to geodesign. Expert groups were asked to identify system innovations that will occur by 2035, and others by 2050, that identify useful design and planning response strategies.


The Assumptions and Innovations are available to read or download on the Global Assumptions and System Innovations webpage.

Global Assumptions of Change


Water Infrastructure


How are the scenarios presented?

The array in the diagram above becomes a key organizational element in the assembly of poster displays, as for the IGC 2019 meeting in Redlands, as powerpoint presentations, and as two-page spreads in the forthcoming Esri Press book (example below). 

Achievement of Sustainable Development Goals

The land use/land cover decisions made during geodesign operations shape how global biophysical resources can address the SDGs, regardless of project type or scale.  ​

In the matrix below we indicate the resource systems most likely to impact specific SDGs. Our example shows the base eight (8) systems specified in  Requirements for Projects, plus two more (participants choose the two “flexible” systems as needed.

Sustainable Development Goals, with their associated land use/land cover systems.

Land use/land cover resource systems provide the basis for the design and also for the operation of evaluation models, change models and impact models. The IGC does not dictate which assessment models are to be used, as participants will be familiar with a wide range of alternatives. However, as an additional step after the development of impact assessments, we ask participants to report how the impacts they assessed affect specific SDGs. 


These assessments require summary judgments. We acknowledge that impacts may have a range of values across the affected areas, they may be influenced by the spatial pattern of changes, and they may be influenced by conditions outside the square study area. Regardless of these complications, summary judgments can be made to enable comparisons of our case studies. Those comparisons, even though summary, may inform and feed back into the design process. See Project Workflow for complete guidance.

Example estimations of impacts of a proposed design on Sustainable Development Goals.

Eight most impacted SDGs, ordered left to right from most improved (score 25 in Sum column of Early Adopter chart above) to eighth (score 10)

Are there additional visualization/representation requirements?

No and Yes. Beyond mapping there will not be any visualization requirements for the work of the teams. However, and as seen below for the IGC 2019 posters, we will encourage the adoption of a convention for diagrammatic visualization for all designs as follows:

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