Researchers look to new data tools to aid urban design

Urban Network Analysis toolbox - aims to gain more rigorous insight into how a city’s shape - its configuration of streets and buildings - affects how it is used, and to marshal massive amounts of data to improve a city’s function. Such methods could help reveal whether a spot is a good place to open a new coffee shop, understand the success of a bustling commercial area, and create a solid foundation of evidence to guide city design.

http://articles.boston.com/2011-10-03/business/30239206_1_planners-data-projects-aim

Details of toolbox

http://cityform.mit.edu/projects/urban-network-analysis.html