How AI Could Revolutionise Town Planning

21 May 24

Within the planning world, AI can assist in visualising urban designs, predicting the impact of planning decisions, and engaging with diverse communities through multilingual capabilities.

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming various sectors, and town planning is no exception. The introduction of AI technologies offers unprecedented opportunities to enhance the efficiency, accuracy, and inclusivity of the planning process. As AI continues to evolve, the planning industry must embrace these changes to stay at the forefront of innovation.

In March 2024, Jeremy Hunt highlighted AI’s potential to accelerate Local Plan preparation, reducing the timescale from an average of seven years to just 30 months. This ambitious goal is only achievable with the right resources and support. By leveraging AI, planners can streamline data analysis, automate routine tasks, and improve decision-making processes. This acceleration not only benefits developers but also ensures that communities receive timely and effective planning services.

The latest AI advancements, such as GPT-4o, which can understand and critique audio, images and text, accurately translate from over 50 languages, and identify emotions from visual expressions, demonstrate the technology’s vast potential.

Within the planning world, AI can assist in visualising urban designs, predicting the impact of planning decisions, and engaging with diverse communities through multilingual capabilities. These tools can make the planning process more transparent and inclusive, ensuring that all stakeholders have a voice.

During a recent internal meeting at Iceni, we discussed the role of AI in planning and the associated ethical considerations. The consensus was that AI should be embraced, albeit cautiously. While AI offers significant benefits, it is crucial to address potential biases in AI algorithms and ensure equitable access to AI tools. This inclusivity is vital to maintain fairness in the planning process, allowing smaller communities and organisations to benefit alongside larger entities.

I predict the pace of AI development will be truly astonishing. This is exemplified by Elon Musk’s announcement that Tesla cars do not employ a single line of code. Instead, they use AI to learn from real-world videos and drivers. This highlights the transformative potential of AI and its ability to learn, adapt and improve continuously.

We would love to meet you at UKREiiF to talk about this and more, contact me above or events@iceniprojects.com