Urban planning with ICT – 3 steps methodology in the “architecture of public space” – How can we do all of that? What kind of technology do we need?

Urban planning with ICT – 3 steps methodology in the “architecture of public space” – How can we do all of that? What kind of technology do we need?

Urban planning with ICT – 3 steps methodology in the “architecture of public space” – How can we do all of that? What kind of technology do we need?

Is the use of ICT far from being an integral part of the urban planning process? Digital technologies and the city design work in a similar way: we urban strategists, use design patterns as a tool to exchange knowledge and express what then complex challenges are in the built environment and much of the digital technology today is also engineered to those patterns. “When we use a function of an app or website, we invoke a piece of software fitting the “Command” pattern”.  The Design Pattern was, of course, invented by Christopher Alexander, a town planner.

ICT allows us, in fact, a) to receive real-time knowledge about how people behave and what the impacts of these behaviors are in cities; b) to create accurate and reliable forecasting tools to test plans in advance; c) to regenerate districts and cities raising the high quality of citizens. Therefore, the opportunity of ICT now exists in building databases that ameliorate urban performance, analyze our design patterns within these databases, and then create plans in a more forecasting manner. This means opening up opportunities to create new forms of city living.

As I mentioned in my article “How Technology Improves Urban Design and 5 apps for urban planners” we now see urban planners working closely with data mining and web developers and instead of designing new cities, they design new strategies under which the cities can change. In this all-inclusive new hobby of searching for data, new apps and new technologies started declaring their role in the process of urban planning.

But what could be a suggested methodology in urban planning using ICT? Where do we start?

3 steps in using ICT in the urban design process – A methodology in the “architecture of public space”

  1. The first step, and fundamental is the spatial analysis of a specific area. In every smart city project, the implementation refers to a specific locality and its urban characteristics. What is needed however is a different focus: spatial analysis to generate networking and urban synergies. This means, to analyze and measure the correlations between spatial accessibility and their patterns and land values. This step in my opinion is fundamental, since connectivity and accessibility; traditionally works against social isolation and economic underperformance and in the urban theory of innovation are suggested as the key drivers for urban development.


2) Then, collecting data on human behavior patterns (such as movement, standing, sitting, interaction patterns in streets, and public spaces) as well as data on socio-economic demographics, crime, and safety patterns could help us work across a range of scales. This information in the form of data can be then visualized and translated in a model as our indicator for evaluation of the likely impacts of planning and design proposals on local places. It is as if we can have now evidence-based decisions, giving local authorities firm grounds, for example, to negotiate design changes with property developers.

(Example of Urban Design – Smart City, Fox Hills, Lusail retrieved by www.lusail.com the 17 October 2016)

Retrieved from https://lusail.com/ on the 2/11/2016

3) Lastly, we could end up in a digital model that follows the BIM logic: meaning bringing all data into a digital tween that allows us to build our future proposal.


How can we do all of that? What kind of technology do we need? There are the different hypothesis for action here:

For the first step, I think we need very clear drawings and spatial analysis diagrams. This is something that can be realized through the traditional use of computation design. Then in the second phase, we can use sensing, mapping, and analysis of datasets in order to extract the technologies needed. Thirdly, our work can be either a new digital model or platform and apps that depict our suggestions.

This means that the new hybrid urban planning model includes the new information and forecasts a more possibly successful master planning as depicted and used by the external mass and not only by the urban planners…

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