City Intelligence Lab to support urban planning innovation

city intelligence lab
© iStock/Alexpoison

The Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT)’s Centre for Energy has opened its first City Intelligence Lab, aimed at promoting innovation in urban planning.

The City Intelligence Lab, based in Vienna, is designed to become an international research hub for urban planning and development. It acts as an interactive platform, offering tools such as digital planning capabilities, augmented reality and Artificial Intelligence to support urban planners in testing new innovations. The lab’s technology enables planners, designers and other experts to simulate real world situations and their impacts, including the effects of climate change.

Nikolas Neubert, head of the competence unit for digital resilient cities at the Centre for Energy, said: “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.”

The City Intelligence Lab is expected to work in close partnership with other research centres, including ETH Zurich’s Future Cities Lab; as well as establishing links with the private sector to further develop its research and innovation capabilities.

Head of the Centre for Energy Wolfgang Hribernik said: “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. Functioning as an interactive platform, [the lab] 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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