The AIT Austrian Institute of Technology showcases its comprehensive services for urban planning and future mobility at the upcoming Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona.
AIT has interdisciplinary expertise in a wide range of topics required for developing the smart cities of the future, from architecture and urban planning to energy, mobility and ICT. It combines scientific knowledge with years of successful implementation experience and is thus well placed to drive urban innovation. AIT will showcase its services at Smart City Expo World Congress, the world's largest and most important congress in the field. Representatives from business, public administration and research from over 120 countries will meet in Barcelona from 14 to 16 November to address major challenges for the smart, responsive, future-proof and resilient cities of the future.
Holistic approaches to complex urban planning and mobility challenges
Over half of the world’s population lives in cities, a share that is expected to rise to 70 per cent by 2050. The resulting challenges such as urban sprawl, pollution and traffic congestion along with the increasing impact of climate change can only be solved by using a holistic and integrative approach. AIT has the experts that connect the dots between the individual layers and dimensions of the urban network, taking into account the mutual interactions between people, the built environment, mobility, infrastructure, processes, climate, data and information. Consequently, AIT’s fields of expertise span a wide range of topics, from responsive cities and regions, smart spatial planning systems, smart mobility data collection and analysis, integrated mobility systems, transport optimisation and logistics through to energy concepts and resilient urban systems.
“We at AIT address urban challenges by asking the right questions in order to understand the challenges and identify the most relevant areas”, says smart cities expert Daiva Walangitang, explaining the process of applied research and scientific consulting at AIT. “Based on this, we design an appropriate strategy and process for and together with clients and develop tailored solutions embedded in urban planning and management. The unconventional and robust solutions are finally implemented and sophisticated monitoring methods put in place to measure their success.”
International know-how from planning to implementation
In line with this comprehensive approach, the services offered to governments and private businesses range from analysis, simulation and modelling through to implementation and monitoring. The services are in demand worldwide, as illustrated by projects implemented across the globe, including China, Singapore, Iran, Ethiopia and Argentina.
Smart spatial planning tools are used to provide cities with a sound basis for decision-making in urban planning and management. Urban morphology assessment is designed to analyse manifold aspects of urban fabrics by identifying the characteristics of urban areas and predicting spatial potentials. Urban development and infrastructure modelling uses simulations to analyse growth patterns of cities in order to derive the necessary investments for the future infrastructure and estimate costs for different development scenarios. Rapid prototyping allows the quick implementation of variants for master plans for new cities and to integrate different dimensions in adaptive master plans for urban districts and neighbourhoods. Once the appropriate measures have been developed and implemented, it is essential to assess whether the desired results have been achieved. AIT works in close cooperation with city administrations to define key performance indicators and develop frameworks for monitoring smart city development.
Cutting-edge mobility solutions
Mobility represents a relevant layer in the urban network. AIT has developed a broad portfolio of tools designed to create a sustainable, accessible, affordable and efficient mobility system for the cities of the future. "A key requirement in this context is to capture, analyse and simulate the mobility behaviour of people and to assess the impact of planned measures on individual infrastructures or the overall transport system", says AIT mobility expert Volker Alberts. "Our software tools - MODE, SMART SURVEY, SIMULATE, EXPERIENCE, IMPACT and PLAN - are designed to address this need and support urban traffic planning and transport policy decisions."
For example, AIT uses smartphones to automatically track the distances travelled and transport modes used by their owners. This data can be used for smart, easy and accurate mobility surveys as well as for innovative ticketing solutions or automated calculation of travel times. Based on long years of research into dynamic crowd simulations, AIT experts have also developed tools to analyse pedestrian flows for the planning and optimisation of public transport infrastructure. To further enhance the experience, virtual 3D models of planned infrastructures are created to validate different designs and wayfinding systems in virtual reality environments. At the macroscopic level, AIT impact assessments analyse future trends regarding mobility behaviour, modal shift, emissions and noise and simulate scenarios for new transport infrastructure. The range of mobility services is complemented by eco-friendly and economically viable solutions for transport logistics, route planning and fleet management.
These and other solutions for the urban challenges of the future will be presented at the Smart City Expo, demonstrating AIT’s commitment to fulfilling its mission of securing and improving the urban environment and quality of life.