The Growth of Smart Cities

November 1, 2018

How do cities function, and how can they function better? With technology advancing at an incredibly rapid pace, cities have the opportunity to leverage information and communication technology to become “smart.” Officials in a smart city can more easily monitor what’s happening, see how the city is evolving, and respond to challenges.

While details of what the phrase “smart cities” means are still open to interpretation, we see indications that technological advancements are moving along at full speed:

The merging of GIS and BIM Data – GIS (geographic information system) information is used for planning and operating roads, bridges, airports, and other infrastructure in the context of their surroundings. BIM (building information modeling) is used for the design and construction of those structures. Together, they introduce a geospatial element into structure design, leading to safer and smarter buildings, roads, and transportation. For example, GIS insight into flood-prone areas can help determine a structure’s best location, orientation, and construction materials.

University Initiatives – The University of Virginia School of Architecture is leading the Next Cities Institute with others from environmental science, data science, economics, law, public policy, cyber-physical systems, engineering, arts, and more. It aims to forecast and shape urbanism, and it is transforming the way students of architecture and related fields approach city design.

The Smart Cities Collaborative – Twenty-two cities are participating in the second Smart Cities Collaborativeto explore how new technologies and transportation options impact the way people move. This year’s focus is on design, measure, manage, and prices. The collaborative is organized by Transportation for America, an alliance of civic, business, and elected officials advocating for smart transportation and smart city projects. The collaborative is looking at using technology pre- and post-construction to accurately gauge whether the projects benefit all users.

Technologies that Power Smart Cities

This is an exciting time for companies developing technologies that will contribute to the planning, designing, and building of smart cities that are safer and more economical, environmentally friendly, efficient, and resilient. For example, Autodesk and ESRIare collaborating to put GIS and BIM at the center of projects, driving smarter decisions, optimized designs, accelerated approvals, reduced costs, smarter cities, and resilient infrastructure. Technologies used today include:

Autodesk® Civil 3D® – Streamline time-consuming tasks such as intersections, roundabout and corridor design, parcel layout, pipes and grading with specific tools and customizable design standards

Autodesk® AutoCAD® Map 3D – Incorporate GIS topology with AutoCAD so you can use and maintain CAD and GIS data for planning, design, and data management (This is Part of the program)

Autodesk® Infraworks® – A collaborative design software that uses 3D visualizations to plan major infrastructure projects

Autodesk® Navisworks® – Allows multiple construction information models to be integrated and viewed together

Autodesk® Revit® - Software for Building Information Modeling that supports multi-discipline teams throughout the project lifecycle

With the largest staff of technical experts of any Autodesk partner, IMAGINiT Technologies has the experience to identify the right tools for your company and project. Contact us for more information.