Development of a flow-based planning support system based on open data for the City of Atlanta

Ge Zhang, Wenwen Zhang, Subhrajit Guhathakurta, Nisha Botchwey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Open data have come of age with many cities, states, and other jurisdictions joining the open data movement by offering relevant information about their communities for free and easy access to the public. Despite the growing volume of open data, their use has been limited in planning scholarship and practice. The bottleneck is often the format in which the data are available and the organization of such data, which may be difficult to incorporate in existing analytical tools. The overall goal of this research is to develop an open data-based community planning support system that can collect related open data, analyze the data for specific objectives, and visualize the results to improve usability. To accomplish this goal, this study undertakes three research tasks. First, it describes the current state of open data analysis efforts in the community planning field. Second, it examines the challenges analysts experience when using open data in planning analysis. Third, it develops a new flow-based planning support system for examining neighborhood quality of life and health for the City of Atlanta as a prototype, which addresses many of these open data challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-224
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Urban Studies
  • Architecture


  • Open data
  • flow-based
  • planning support system
  • web application


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