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Austria opens intelligence lab for cities

The City Intelligence Lab at the Austrian Institute of Technology aims to become an international model for the urban planning processes of the future.

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 Interactive plattform for tomorrow’s urban planning with Nikolas Neubert and Wolfgang Hribernik
Interactive plattform for tomorrow’s urban planning with Nikolas Neubert and Wolfgang Hribernik

The Centre for Energy at the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology has opened its first City Intelligence Lab (CIL) in Vienna with a view to shifting the focus of urban planning to the needs of residents.

 

The laboratory is an interactive platform intended to allow urban planning professionals to investigate new methodologies and technologies and to take a “co-creative” development approach.

 

Digital planning tools

 

Functioning as an interactive platform, the international AI-based model lab combines ‘innovative’ processes with the latest digital planning tools using big data and artificial intelligence (AI).

 

It aims to realistically simulate and run through scenarios such as the climate situation in different parts of the city to come up with new concepts for planning and implementation.

 

“In establishing this laboratory, we have produced a platform and a space for experimentation, what you could call a sort of medical laboratory for digital technologies,” said Nikolas Neubert, head of the competence unit for digital resilient cities at the Centre for Energy.

 

The laboratory applies key technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence in order to develop complex simulations and parametric designs.

“In establishing this laboratory, we have produced a platform and a space for experimentation, what you could call a sort of medical laboratory for digital technologies”

CIL is equipped with interactive projection screens and models, which together provide an improved collaborative planning environment, as well as an AI-based urban planning model which combines real-time simulation prediction and generative design, enabling the experts to explore unprecedented situations, the lab reports

 

“The innovative achievement of tomorrow’s urban planning will be to apply digital technologies in order to create diverse planning scenarios which offer a broad portfolio of solutions for cities and their inhabitants. We have created the infrastructure necessary to do this,” continued Neubert.

 

By working closely with other research institutions such as the Future Cities Lab at ETH Zurich, and through close links with the private sector, the CIL is designed to become an international hub which facilitates the development of new research approaches.

 

“The City Intelligence Lab at the Centre for Energy is bringing about a paradigm shift by using digital technologies to include user perspectives, making the lab an international model when it comes to urban planning processes of the future,” added Wolfgang Hribernik, head of the Centre for Energy.

 

“Functioning as an interactive platform, [CIL] combines innovative processes with the latest digital planning tools using big data and artificial intelligence. It is therefore able to realistically simulate and run through scenarios such as the climate situation in different parts of the city.”

 

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