Project Requirements

To maintain as much flexibility as possible while achieving good comparability, we have identified a series of key requirements. Those are listed here and should be cross-referenced to IGC project workflow recommendations. We do not prescribe sites, methods or software, or who participates in making the studies. We do prescribe eight key geodesign systems (with related color palettes), plus two optional, to be the systems within which design changes are proposed; that all project contexts are defined as square “clips” at agreed spatial extents; three design scenarios; three common time stages across all projects; and a common impact evaluation framework based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, presented in a common format.

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.

Key geodesign 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.

Standard study area spatial extents. In metric.

All study areas should 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 to encompass a study area of any shape. 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

IGC scenarios and time-stages.

Assumptions about global change and the system 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


Achievement of Sustainable Development Goals

Land use/land cover decisions made during geodesign operations shape how global biophysical resources can address the SDGs, regardless of project type or scale.  Summary judgments are used to enable comparisons of scenarios. 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)

How are projects presented?

The array in the diagram above becomes a key organizational element in the assembly of poster displays, as for the IGC 2020 meeting in Redlands, as PowerPoint presentations, and as two-page spreads in the Esri Press book of the IGC 2019 projects(example below). 

Are there additional visualization/representation requirements?

Beyond mapping, there will not be any specific visualization requirements. However, we encourage the inclusion of study area photographs, charts, and diagrammatic visualization as appropriate:

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