Nathan Kerr

Urban Systems Framework

A data centric framework for research in planning

March 2009.

In this paper we report about the Urban Systems Framework (USF) that was developed within the Digital Phoenix project at Arizona State University. Digital Phoenix is an effort to create a planning tool that allows keen insight into urban dynamics in the Phoenix metropolitan area through the use of state-of-art visualization, simulation, and GIS tools, combined with detailed social, economic and environmental data. These goals are only achievable in a collaborative interdisciplinary research approach. This approach led to several technological challenges during the course of the research:

  1. Storage and organization of the data that researchers and collaborators need for their work
  2. Automation of data processing, conversion, and automated execution of simulations
  3. Interoperability for collaboration and distribution of result sets

The framework that we present in this paper addresses these challenges. It is built on a data centric workflow, allows the use of many freely available software tools due to the use of open standards, and supports collaboration with internet based infrastructure.