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How Technology Makes City Design and Planning Simpler


If you look at some of the early cities built centuries ago and trace their developments over time, you might see that many of them lacked city planning. These expansions could take place rapidly and a bit haphazardly, turning into a sprawling network of streets, alleys, and access points without a bigger picture as a guide. Today’s technology can help city planners expand or innovate in creative ways without making things needlessly complex.

Energy Use

The amount of energy a city needs to use on a regular basis is always a hot topic once planning is underway. It might not be noticeable, but things like lighting and digital communication screens are everywhere throughout most cities. These things need energy the same way homes or office buildings do. Smart grids can track city-wide energy usage and suggest optimizations to keep costs down while remaining friendly to the environment.

Digital City Representations

City planners have to envision expansions or new places for people to live constantly. In many cases, they are working with dozens of systems that compartmentalize information and make it harder to bring things together. Before actual construction begins, some planners can use digital twin software to see how things might play out. A digital twin is a virtual representation of a projected city. The software can show buildings and physical assets to engineers, and the technology allows them to see interconnected data such as in order to visualize potential outcomes.

Public Transport Accessibility

Many major cities with large populations have at least one form of public transport available for citizens to use. Technology can help make vehicles more efficient and friendly to the environment, but it can also enhance the way people interact with the transit system. City planners can suggest spots for smart traffic lights to monitor vehicle flow, or they can connect all city bus routes to a network that receives real-time updates sent to the end user. This aspect of planning could even make building parking lots or spaces easier, resulting in less wasted space or vehicle overcrowding.

Planning Apps for Spaces

City planning is no exception to having an app for just about everything. One of the good things about using a planning app specifically designed for urban growth is the focus on the residents. These apps are made to track data points that are important to people living in the city. Planners can use the apps as a way to figure out what citizens want or need, and they can put this information into a digital twin.

With expected population growth increasing in the coming decades, the need for properly planned cities is becoming more important. Thanks to some of the technologies listed above, planners, engineers, and construction workers might be able to save time on revisions and money on costly errors that have to be corrected in the middle of a project. Don’t forget that monitoring data even after a city is fully planned could help with proactive maintenance that can save the city money.

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