Solving problems in urban planning with computer science

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Struggle_for_Pleasure
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Solving problems in urban planning with computer science

Postby Struggle_for_Pleasure » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:47 am UTC

Hi all,

I'm interested to know if anyone is aware of ways by which computer science (mostly machine learning algorithms) can be used to solve issues in urban planning.

One way that immediately jumps to mind is improving transit by having automated transit regulated by estimated demand. Essentially, having driverless (or auto-piloted) taxis that know where to queue in what numbers based on predicting demand. And of course all of the CS stuff involved in a car driving itself. (Though the taxi drivers would lose their jobs...)

What other ways might we improve city life with CS/ML?

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Hegelian Murder
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Re: Solving problems in urban planning with computer science

Postby Hegelian Murder » Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:11 pm UTC

This is potentially at a tangent, but have you come across the concept of Smart Cities (link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_city )

I've been doing a little reading around the idea relatively recently, and think it is quite interesting that the field of city planning is starting to take account for the digital infrastructure of a city, and what needs inhabitants of cities need as digital consumers. Alongside that, there is the growing ethos of integrating technology to improve the flows in cities, common examples being having car parks that will estimate how many free spaces there are and linked signs that point drivers towards parks with empty spaces - but these have been around so long now that we probably take them for granted!

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addams
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Re: Solving problems in urban planning with computer science

Postby addams » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:10 pm UTC

Hegelian Murder wrote:This is potentially at a tangent, but have you come across the concept of Smart Cities (link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_city )

I've been doing a little reading around the idea relatively recently, and think it is quite interesting that the field of city planning is starting to take account for the digital infrastructure of a city, and what needs inhabitants of cities need as digital consumers. Alongside that, there is the growing ethos of integrating technology to improve the flows in cities, common examples being having car parks that will estimate how many free spaces there are and linked signs that point drivers towards parks with empty spaces - but these have been around so long now that we probably take them for granted!

Not everyone takes that stuff for granted.
Those are wonderful things and more wonderful stuff is on the way.
Facing some of that Technology for the first time is a little intimidating.

Machines can and do make take some of the drudgery out of City Living.
sorry. We may not be dealing with the OP's concerns.

Urban Planing is a Major that has many prerequisites.
What was the question, again?

Machine learning algorithms?

Maybe. I know there is a math equation fed in from those tubes like old gas stations used.
The tube is placed across the roadway. The number of cars and when they passed and sometimes when two sets of tubes are used the speed of the cars is looked at.

Then a computer describes what will happen if This Traffic Pattern is used.
Then That Traffic Pattern.

They call it Failure.
I do not remember the exact term.

When a traffic light does not allow the autos waiting to go through is one kind of failure.
Grid lock is another kind of failure. Computers can predict where the grid lock will occur.

Then all manor of other computer models are used.
The sewage and where it will go is entertaining graphics.

Where do the Urban Planers want to live?
That might be a place where grid lock is unlikely and sewage overflow is also a low risk.

I talked to some Urban Planers at a party.
They were laughing about some of the Political Posturing.

One group threatened to turn off the pumps to the swage system.
The other group asked the Urban Planers. They told them.

"When the pumps are off, gravity take that 'shit' to the other guys front door."
Funny stuff. Politics is terrible. People say stupid shit.

Everyone. No Exceptions.
So; The last I heard the second group said, "Go head and turn off the pumps."

The pumps stayed on. They ended up with other problems.
Some one was dumping toxic waste into the system.

It was interesting to watch the engineers tracing the concentrations.
They had it narrowed down. Seriously.

A little toxic waste can be absorbed by the system.
A lot will trigger die offs.

Those guys had the storm water run off on a screen.
They could trace it. Correct?

Urban Planing is hard. It is a special discipline.
Some universities have entire department dedicated to the discipline of Urban Planing.

Some Cities need remodeling.
That is a kind of Urban Planing, too.

The computer can show people that know how to talk to it the city of the Future.
The computer can show flaws in what seems like a good plan. It is funny stuff.

No. I do not know how to do that. It must be difficult.
Urban Planners must love cities. They understand cities in a way I never will.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Solving problems in urban planning with computer science

Postby Gleedaniel13 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:42 am UTC

I think the computer science applications that would probably help the urban city is through identifying those thief cars. I think the idea should be by scanning the car then identifying the identity and the ownership of the drivers. In this sense the crime in car-napping will be lessen.

Nem
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Re: Solving problems in urban planning with computer science

Postby Nem » Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:22 pm UTC

Government agencies have access to restricted data, and the tools used for analysing this are ... crap as crap can be ... in the sense that data will tend to be in several excel sheets from several different agencies. This makes it very difficult to do things like look at the correlation between traffic patterns and cases of, say, respiratory disorders in local doctors offices. Especially since the latter sort of data will be delivered in general terms on a ward level or higher that makes it very difficult to integrate based on patient distribution and stuff like that.

I think that a major improvement for planning could come just by providing tools that allow you to integrate your data at varying levels of generality and protect the raw data with strong encryption so that you can't know how those results were generated. Ideally this stuff should all be running automatically in the background. If you want to know what the strongest correlates with something are you should just be able to click on it and get an ordered list with an associated map highlighting the areas concerned.

That would be an incredibly powerful tool to have - especially if it could be integrated so that different councils could see each others data, so they could see what worked well where and make reasonable guesses about why.

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Re: Solving problems in urban planning with computer science

Postby Tyndmyr » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:05 pm UTC

Probably the biggest one is the rise of just-in-time shipping. Inventory management has become increasingly automated, and POS systems are frigging everywhere. So, a lot of the mundane planning like "how much does my store need of x for christmas" has become computer reliant. Barring shrinkage, etc, most restocks are done automatically.

Also, money has mostly become electronic, what with debit cards, etc. This has reduced the need for actual money, and will likely further continue. Armored cars, bank vaults, etc may become mostly things of the past. Sure, it may not seem huge, but people no longer having to drive to banks to make deposits, etc can be a traffic reducer, less cash can reduce the potential profits of robberies, etc.

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addams
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Re: Solving problems in urban planning with computer science

Postby addams » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:17 pm UTC

What was the name of that Cuban Guy?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andres_Duany
This guy. I did not read the entire wiki article.
I read a book he wrote. And; Then some other stuff.

Computer Science? Yes. In a modern world we maybe could use a computer.
The Urban is for people. It is a frightening landscape to me.

Like canyons made by man, but not at a human scale.
It is ok. Someone understands that stuff.

Cities. Heavenly, yet Alien.
To go into a city is like a trip to Mars.

Mars. Who would want to go to Mars? Why?
To get away from people?

Mars is the God of War. Where is the Alter?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_(mythology)
The link did not work correctly.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_(mythology)
did that?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Sizik
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Re: Solving problems in urban planning with computer science

Postby Sizik » Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:43 pm UTC

addams wrote:Mars is the God of War. Where is the Alter?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_(mythology)
The link did not work correctly.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_(mythology)
did that?


Put it in URL tags: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_(mythology)
she/they
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King Author wrote:If space (rather, distance) is an illusion, it'd be possible for one meta-me to experience both body's sensory inputs.
Yes. And if wishes were horses, wishing wells would fill up very quickly with drowned horses.

Iv
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Re: Solving problems in urban planning with computer science

Postby Iv » Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:16 pm UTC

Having worked a bit in a company interested with that

Struggle_for_Pleasure wrote:I'm interested to know if anyone is aware of ways by which computer science (mostly machine learning algorithms) can be used to solve issues in urban planning.


Mostly, what is currently done, is anticipate the impact of modifications (like a new road, a new tramway line, etc...) on the behavior of the city:

- Anticipate differences of traffic flux
- Anticipate demands of public transportation
- Anticipate energy and water consumption
- Anticipate variations of real estate value (this one is worth gold, quite literally)

Alternatively, it can also be used for disaster planning and testing of economical hypothesis (what happens if there is a flood, or an electrical blackout, or a drought, or if fuel price jump of 300%, if we make this portion of the highway free...)

I haven't seen machine learning used much. Mostly it is about heavy parallel multi-agent simulations. Agents are usually manually programmed.


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