Computer modelling for town planning

4 January 2013

The Urban Center for Computation and Data (UrbanCCD) is to apply the most advanced computational and data-driven techniques to the challenge of intelligent urban planning.

The organisation will be initially funded by a $600,000 grant from the US National Science Foundation, which unites researchers from several Chicago institutions, city officials and private enterprise with the Computation Institute (CI), a joint initiative between the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory.

'We're seeing accelerated urbanisation globally, outpacing traditional tools and methods of urban design and operation,' said UrbanCCD director Charlie Catlett, CI senior fellow and senior computer scientist at Argonne National Laboratory.

'The consequences are seen in inefficient transportation networks belching greenhouse gasses and unplanned city-scale slums with crippling poverty and health challenges. There is an urgent need to apply advanced computational methods and resources to both explore and anticipate the impact of urban expansion and find effective policies and interventions.'

The collaboration will analyse urban data and build complex computer models that simulate the impact of policy decisions and development upon a city and its residents.

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