Evaluation has a fundamental role in complex public choices aimed at obtaining a ranking among alternative options and designing new solutions. Starting from this perspective, the so-called 'integrated assessments' - multidimensional tools for a dialogue among different approaches and fields of knowledge - play a privileged role as a suitable decision support tool for public participation at a territorial and urban planning level. Taking into account the concept of 'integrated assessment', the paper introduces the approach of 'integrated spatial assessment' for territorial and urban planning. In recent years spatial analysis combined with multicriteria and multigroup methods has been used to support evaluation, especially in the field of land-use planning. By exploring the potentials of the integrated spatial assessment (ISA), it is possible to implement a multidimensional value-focused way of thinking, conceived as a path open to a 'creative' decision-making process.
Keywords: integrated spatial assessment, multicriteria analysis, multi-group analysis, complex social value, strategic environmental assessment, creative decision making, decision support systems, DSS, public participation, territorial planning, urban planning, urban management, spatial analysis