A User-Based Look at Visualization Tools for Environmental Data and Suggestions for Improvement - An Inventory among City Planners in Gothenburg
Journal article, 2020

With a growing interest in environmental data and the need to consider various environmental factors earlier in the planning processes, it becomes more important to disseminate this type of information to different target groups in a comprehensible way. To support easier decision making, many cities and municipalities are increasingly using digital city models where it is possible to integrate different types of information based on simulation and visualization of future scenarios. Such tools have high potential, but the visual representation of data still needs to be developed. In this paper, we investigate how professionals within urban planning currently use visualization to communicate environmental data, and what their needs are regarding tools and visual representation. We discuss challenges for representing environmental data in urban development processes, with the aim of contributing to a better understanding of these issues. We base our investigation on a literature study, an inventorying survey and a focus group discussion with professionals within urban planning. This study provides an end-user perspective among urban planners and valuable insights on tool usage and visualization. Results show that applications used for environmental visualization still can be improved regarding, e.g., user friendliness and information handling, which may increase their efficiency.

urban planning


user-centered design

science dissemination

environmental decision support


Beata Stahre Wästberg

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Interaction design

Monica Billger

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Architectural theory and methods

Marco Adelfio

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Urban Design and Planning


2071-1050 (ISSN)

Vol. 7 12 2882

A dialogue toolkit for visualization of environmental data in urban planning processes from a pedestrian perspective

Formas (2016-20107), 2017-01-01 -- 2018-06-30.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)

Subject Categories

Civil Engineering



More information

Latest update