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Natalia Aguilar Delgado
CASE STUDY. For the past 30 years, threats to the local environment combined with a lack of economic development have transformed Sierra Nevada from a predominantly rural area in a bedroom community. In 1997, Proyecto Sierra Nevada was established to come up with a devlopment model capable of containing the unsustainable urban sprawl by developing local natural resources. Many challenges arose right from the beginning, mainly because the local population had lost its connection to the land. The project managed to address this challenge with the help of a powerful tool: a geographic information system (GIS). Thus, this case presents the trajectory of this innovative project, analyzing the role played by GIS in a participatory process as a tool that enabled a local community to better organize and manage its natural resources. The case promotes discussion of the human aspects of the implementation of a GIS with a participatory dimension.