Impact of AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) in town planning has the ability to be transformative. However, it is important to understand that AI need not be a replacement for human intelligence or social interaction, but instead it can work in harmony with it. In time more efficient and collaborative ways of working, through developing AI, can be identified.

AI has the ability to dissect large quantities of data including diverse variables such as buildings, roads and parks. AI also has the ability to show more dynamic factors like population density, traffic flow and socio-economic activities – often in real time. Currently, it would be difficult to show vast amounts of data, such as this, visually. Data analysis is only one of the uses of AI. It can also show realistic urban layouts, focusing on key objectives, such as enhancing access to green spaces and reducing traffic congestion.

AI has been used to assist in inventive problem-solving in planning. Some examples of where this has been used internationally are outlined below.

Stockholm Smart City Platform

‘Traffic management: AI can be used to optimise traffic flow, reduce congestion, and improve safety on roads. For example, traffic management systems can use real-time traffic data from sensors and cameras to adjust traffic signals and reroute traffic to avoid accidents and reduce travel times. Companies like Waycare (acquired by Rekor) and Waze are using machine learning algorithms to analyse traffic data and provide real-time traffic updates to drivers.’

Stockholm has implemented an AI-powered smart city platform that uses real-time data to optimise public transportation, reduce energy usage, and improve air quality –

Amsterdam Energy Efficiency

• ‘Energy efficiency: AI can help cities monitor and manage energy usage more effectively, leading to reduced energy consumption and lower costs. Energy management systems can use data analytics and machine learning to identify areas where energy is being wasted and suggest ways to reduce usage. For example, the city of Amsterdam is using an AI-powered energy management system to optimize energy usage in public buildings and reduce emissions.’

AI and 3d Technology in urban planning in Amsterdam –

University of Chicago predictive policing to deter crime

‘Public safety: AI can be used to monitor public spaces and detect potential safety threats. For example, video surveillance systems can use machine learning algorithms to detect unusual behaviour or objects and alert law enforcement. The city of Chicago has implemented an AI-powered predictive policing system that analyses crime data and identifies areas where police presence may be needed.’

The University of Chicago using AI tools for predictive policing to deter crime –

Barcelona waste management system

‘Waste management: AI can help cities optimise waste collection and reduce waste generation. For example, waste management systems can use data analytics to predict when and where waste will be generated and optimise collection routes accordingly. The city of Barcelona is using an AI-powered waste management system that uses sensors to detect when waste containers are full and alerts waste collectors.’

Barcelona has implemented an AI-powered waste management system that has reduced waste collection costs and improved cleanliness in public spaces, leading to a better quality of life for residents –

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