Artificial intelligence and urban design can help boost the urban planning process in many ways. Here are some prime examples. Artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for a while now, but it has only just begun to ingrain itself into our everyday lives. From our smartphones to modern marketing strategies, many significant elements of our world are powered by AI.
We can also see AI being used to plan large-scale projects, particularly when it comes to urban design. The ancient world was filled with many remarkable civilizations and cities. However, these efficient cities were the result of many years of planning.
Luckily, we live in an era where this process has become significantly faster. This significant leap in planning speed is a direct result of the advent of modern technology, including artificial intelligence, which can lend a helping hand to urban design and planning.
In this article, I will go over the role of artificial intelligence in urban design.
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Artificial Intelligence in Urban Design
Urban design is the design of towns and cities and the streets and spaces within them. It is a cutting-edge and important field that directly impacts the psychology and behavior of residents.
Artificial intelligence can help boost the urban planning process in many ways. Here are some prime examples:
Many public transport systems, particularly those in more highly developed countries, use computers to improve the transportation system. These computers often employ artificial intelligence systems to help with the process. AI is used within the robots or applications that offer passengers important information, for example. It is also employed to create real-time spreadsheets that tally passenger volume, bus schedules, traffic patterns, and routes.
Air Quality Monitoring
Many air sampling devices employ AI to help them measure the air quality and publish results accordingly. Things like pollution levels, fossil fuel particle density in the air, and future predictions about air quality can be drafted using programs that run on artificial intelligence.
Too often, we see single signs and lights, and sometimes even a traffic officer, trying to manage the flow of vehicles from every possible direction. Luckily, many cities have moved past this point by employing AI-based machinery to help regulate traffic in urban spaces.
Security Cameras and Monitoring
Many public-space security cameras are linked to applications that can decode a person’s facial structure and help identify who they are using relevant data archives. These apps are powered by artificial intelligence and have helped improve the quality of security in many urban spaces.
Some monitoring devices also have special sensors that keep track of certain stimuli and can help alert the authorities when a crime, like a robbery, is about to be committed.
Some AI systems can also count the number of cars parked within a restricted area and prevent parking lots from over-flooding. They can also help ensure that people do not park in unwarranted places.
Smart Waste Management Systems
It’s no secret that urban spaces create a remarkable amount of waste each day. Urban management often struggles with disposing and managing this waste efficiently. Luckily, many AI-based applications can help with the process.
There are special AI-enabled cameras that can detect trash thrown on the street. They can also recognize what material the garbage is made out of.
Some waste bins contain AI-based sensors that help notify authorities when they are nearly full and need to be emptied. This way, bins are only visited and cleared when a need is present, ultimately helping urban management save on cleaning costs.
As you can see, AI technology has already become a staple in many urban spaces. These areas are called “smart cities” and are likely to grow in number within the next few decades.
Data Collection and AI in Urban Design
The digital world is brimming with data. Much of this data is a direct result of how the people using certain data-collecting technologies are behaving. Our phones collect plenty of data and supply them to larger corporations to use this data to improve our daily lives.
Here is an example of how the data collected through phones can help with urban design:
Cell phone users depend upon aerial signals dispatched from cellphone towers. Without these signals, our phones would be unable to connect to other devices or the internet. However, each tower has a strict limit and cannot cast its signals beyond this point.
Urban design tool generating buildings based on land use percentage allocation by Josh Quinlan and Andreas Maragakis. @complexurbanism#computationaldesign #archdaily #design #rhino #grasshopper #cpu #complexurban #architecture #building #archilovers #city pic.twitter.com/spSRiMrAi2
— CPU:Ai (@CPU_Ai_atelier) January 15, 2021
Our cell phones are always tracking signal strength and often relay this information to telecommunication companies, which, in turn, store this data. These statistics can help signal providers to understand how well (or how poorly) their customers’ devices are reacting to the towers’ signals.
So, suppose the signals are extremely poor in a certain area within the city. In that case, the telecommunication services provider will be made aware using the data collected by AI systems on our phones. This will help them fix the problem sooner to ensure that all the residents within an urban space get uninterrupted signals.
On another note, AI can also help urban planners create more efficient transport networks across the city using algorithms based on traffic data and stats. Artificial intelligence may also lend a hand in optimizing energy and water use within a city, hence reducing wastage of these scare elements.
Artificial intelligence is an interesting and powerful concept. Even though it is still in its initial stages, the currently existing form of AI can help solve many problems that are present within large and small cities alike.
From optimizing public transportation to helping the environment, artificial intelligence can provide ample assistance to urban designers and help them achieve their goals, resulting in a better urban space for everyone involved.