PlanIT Impact Enables Sustainable Urban Design for Smart Cities

Kansas City

Out of Kansas City, Missouri, the founders of PlanIT Impact are linking open data and taking advantage of gigabit technology to make the digital modeling process of design much smarter and to understand resource impact and return on investment, as projects are conceived.

PlanIT Impact serves architects, designers, planners and developers who are constantly being pressured by market conditions and clients to perform at higher levels of service for less time and money. It helps decision makers better decipher the interlocking systems of resource use in cities, including those that affect design of infrastructure, density and land use patterns, and promote net-zero impact energy and water usage. The application promotes sustainable design by integrating and operating on data from multiple sources, performing predictive analytics on large data sets to provide early recommendations to architects and planners. The ultimate goal is to create a more sustainable connected community. Ultimately, PlanIT Impact will lead to the design of a distributed software architecture that leverages the power of cloud computing and gigabit networking to advance the state-of-the-art in design and planning. The technology is easily replicable to many communities, due to ubiquity of cloud computing and increasing availability of open data and gigabit networking across US cities.

PlanIT Impact connects to national data, such as OpenData.gov, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), US Census, and provides metrics on potential performance to inform digital models produced by architects, designers and planners. Having a facile and instantaneous metric tool promotes iteration in the earliest phases of design, which is necessary to optimize performance and minimize the impact on the environment. This design and engineering process is currently expensive and time consuming for the industry, which is a significant disincentive for owners and architecture or engineering professionals to design more sustainably. By linking to local open data sources, PlanIT Impact can research how the various infrastructural and natural resource systems interrelate for that specific municipality. This has broad impacts from understanding how various disciplines within the building design and engineering professions may work more collaboratively, to analysis of existing zoning and building codes, to better understanding sustainability impacts.

PlanIT Impact has been sponsored by US Ignite and the Mozilla Foundation, receiving funding of $51,000 from both of these agencies. They were a Global City Team Challenge (GCTC) participant and a Digital Sandbox KC grant recipient. They presented at the 2016 Smart Cities Innovation Summit in Austin, Texas.

Learn more about their work at http://www.planitimpact.com, or talk to them directly on social @PlanITImpact.