Article: Designing Better Through Data

Article: Designing Better Through Data

Big Data Changing the Game

Governments use data to enhance services in cities all around the world, whether in infrastructure, health and safety, or public engagement. But data also plays an important role in defining the city's physical space, informing the design of new buildings and neighbourhoods.

Urban planners can now utilise data to predict the impact of urban development programmes thanks to big data and analytics. Cities may become more sustainable and strategic by using these technologies while planning procedures become more inclusive

A Key Tool for Urban Planners

Analytical data can have an impact on a city by allowing for improved resource management. It becomes quite simple to measure resources and ensure that correct numbers for resources affecting various industries are available. Consumption, production, data processing, and resource distribution are examples of these aspects.

Here are some areas in which big data can influence urban planning:

  • Transportation and traffic trends can be predicted using analytical and predictive technology
  • Streamlining data analytics for public safety, such as street cameras with facial recognition, improves public safety
  • By managing energy supply and usage, big data analytics has the ability to impact how homes operate
  • In terms of innovations to improve service delivery and active citizenship, creativity can become almost endless

Planners can also use data to predict cascade impacts across urban systems, such as water management, energy management, and waste management. Designers can forecast the result of interventions across a range of scenario requirements using data, which allows them to bridge the gap between theory and experiment without altering real-world circumstances. As a result, data has become a key tool for urban planners.

Allowing Opinions to be Voiced

Making decisions regarding the future of cities has long relied on face-to-face engagement, with officials seeking citizen feedback. Many residents have traditionally been excluded from such meetings: parents who are caring for their children are unable to attend an evening meeting; working people are unable to attend during the day, and those with limited English language skills may find it difficult to participate without the assistance of translators.

However, new technologies are allowing urban planners to broaden their area of involvement by incorporating data on urban systems and permitting residents to voice their opinions online.

Massive Amounts of Data

For several decades, simulations have been employed in urban planning, with land-use models and economic projections playing a key part. Unfortunately, limiting technologies impeded these models: data collecting was difficult and expensive at the time, processing power was severely constrained, analytic capabilities were unsophisticated, and computer-based visualisation was still a long way off. Planners employed statistical models to assess the relationship between elements like population increase and urban density, but these simulations lacked the richness and complexity of integrated analytical tools and vehicles for public outreach and involvement.

Every day, the architecture and construction sector generates massive amounts of data. Massive data stores of everything from designs and building models to communications and cost estimates continue to expand. In 2022, the value of big data is predicted to rise by $30 billion, making it among the most valuable commodities on the planet.

It is a trend that is changing the game, increasing efficiency and collaboration. And as tools continue to advance and become more accessible, projects of all sizes can benefit from the power of big data.