Australian City Intelligence Lab Promotes Innovation In Urban Planning

The Center for Energy at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) recently opened its City Intelligence Lab (CIL) with the aim of promoting innovation in urban planning. The laboratory is an interactive platform allowing urban planning professionals to use tools such as digital planning capabilities, augmented reality, big data, and artificial intelligence to test new innovations. It aims to create complex simulations and parametric designs and run through various scenarios 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. 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,” said Nikolas Neubert, head of the competence unit for digital resilient cities at the Center for Energy.

The CIL is designed to become an international hub, with plans to work with other research institutions – such as the Future Cities Lab at ETH Zurich – and the private sector to facilitate the development of new research approaches.

“The City Intelligence Lab at the Center 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 Center 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.”