A change in paradigm – data science and the city: Smart City Expo World Congress 2019

Award-winning Barcelona-based architecture firm 300.000km/s – at the congress to present their collaborations with the local government – are known for their use of digital tools that harness open data and big data in combination with citizen-generated qualitative data. According to the architecture team, the processing and interpretation of massive amounts of information can enable a much more detailed analysis and representation of the complexity of urban spaces, which in turn allows for a scientific approach to site analysis and the monitoring of urban design interventions. For Barcelona’s Ciutat Vella Land Use Plan, designed as an instrument to balance economic activities and the district’s residential role, 300.000km/s reinvented the traditional master plan. New methodologies of spatial analysis based on machine learning and artificial intelligence were applied to create a predictive model to inform, simulate and draft a new flexible and dynamic strategy. Through the inclusion of data from population census, social networks, commercial premises and noise sensors, among others, new layers of information describing urban behaviour were added. The focus of the plan, the result of a two-year process, is to preserve the liveability in the city.