Urban Planning

The world’s population is today growing rapidly, predominantly in urban areas. According to reports by UN, by the year 2050 69% of the world’s population which is an estimated 6.3 billion people will be living in urban areas as opposed to 50%that translates to 3 billion people today (Urban Technology Trends Impacting City Planning). In order to provide accommodation for this hastily growing population, cities and other urban areas will be obliged to undertake a number of serious strategic planning to cater for a number of essentials which include housing front and building efficient and sustainable infrastructure to support their residents.

For this to be possible there is a need for the use of scientific data in order to make objective and rational decisions regarding strategic urban planning. It also calls for the need of making housing information accessible to the publicly in addition to aiding targeted investments in preceding projects. Parking is one of the most annoying turmoil in our cities today with residents and car owners being stranded for hours looking for parking in cities or having to park far from their areas of residence with parking being full. Looking for parking space is a habitual and regularly frustrating activity for many city dwellers around the world.

This is despite the fact that parking is a $25 billion industry and has, unfortunately, seen nominal innovation in decades (Overview of the U.S. Parking Industry). This is opposed to millions of dollars being pumped into creating alternative fuel may it be in terms of investment to create energy-efficient hybrid cars or electric vehicles. There is still the problem of global gridlock since a car is a car whether electric, hybrid as it also results to a matching strain on urban gridlock as gas-powered cars do with the need for parking still existing. Parking problem calls for the need to come up with “Smart Parking System” which should integrate all the key stakeholders in the system ranging from motorists to parking lots and meters merchants in cities.

Others to be included in this system should be hospitals, residential areas, universities, shopping centers and airports among others. This will help to monitor and manage the factual supply and demand of parking thus enabling cities and motorists to come up with informed transportation decisions. Making Smart Parking, a reality will essentially involve bringing together all parking management aspects technology to form one integrated system ranging from street-level sensors to analytic system management software and mobile apps. This will make it possible for motorists to understand and manage the city’s parking thus enabling them to make adjustments for the better.

Smart parking is a key step towards parking problems as it involves the use of low-cost sensors and real-time data collection that can then be used to make automatic payments through cellular phones hence allowing motorists to reserve a parking spot in advance and to make it easy to accurately predict where one is likely find a spot. Furthermore, when the whole system is utilized, smart parking reduces car emissions in urban centers as it reduces the necessity for people to unnecessarily go round city blocks in search of a parking spot.

This also enables cities to vigilantly control they're parking supply. In terms of gridlock, various cities are turning to Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to help curb and reduce gridlock. New York City, for example, has in recent times initiated a program in which sensors were installed along critical intersections so as to help identify the number of vehicles stopping for a traffic light by scrutinizing the number of EZ Pass readers waiting in line.

This information is then transmitted to a system in the traffic center of the city that analyzes the information in real-time and consequently providing commendations to traffic engineers as to where there is a need for adjustment of traffic lights sequence to move things along. Such a project is a feasible as it will help ease traffic thus saving time and money. The world has also in recent years witnessed a rapid increase in smart utilities with more and more people using many gadgets that run on electricity. IoT technologies become necessary to equally help service providers and consumers control energy usage.

With the introduction of sensor-enabled meters, the resultant smart grid can nowadays examine the whole infrastructure in real-time and regulate an output to the best possible intensity for present usage patterns. Smart utilities are furthermore capable of identifying damaged areas automatically thus making it easy and faster to deploy repair crews the exact location. Additionally, smart meters and smart thermostats will enable consumers be conscious of their individual consumption patterns and help them devise innovative habits to save gas and electricity.

Even with the introduction of smart grid, the demand for electricity continues to shoot up thus calling for the need to come up with innovative and we must discover innovative ways to find other sources of energy to solve this problem. Most people advocate for green energy that includes harnessing wind and solar energy without thinking of everyday activities such as foot power. A London based company called Pavegen has come up with building sidewalk tiles with the capability of converting kinetic energy to electricity which can then be stored up and used as means of powering street lights, signs or office blocks.

Even though it may take time before this idea materializes to power cities it plausible since it will help cut down spending power by harnessing the power from places with high human traffic such as crosswalks and transport terminals. Another possible integration of technology and urban planning are 3-D Modeling. As city's struggle to accommodate this rapidly and progressive influx of residents and businesses, there is a need to build more skyscrapers, subways, bridges, roads, and other infrastructure. However, engineers and urban planners should take into consideration a number of factors in order to fully understand the impact of new projects.

Such include visual changes, wind dynamics, flight paths, energy consumption, the skyline and the possible impacts of any probable natural disasters. Traditionally, planners were dependent on conventional reports, artistic impressions and 2D to carry out their planning work, which sometimes took years to develop and were also difficult to understand. With key developments in 3D modeling, today planners can interactively put to test a wide range of possible scenarios with the aim of expediting the planning process.

This is not only cost effective, but also provides more accurate data to a planner that is used in the evaluation process, and it is much easier for the public to envisage and maintain. With more and more people projected to move to urban centers, these measures can go a long way to ensure that potential problems caused by the huge influx are dealt with or minimized significantly. With more and more people projected to move to urban centers, these measures can go a long way to ensure that potential problems caused by the huge influx are dealt with or minimized significantly.