Human technology

Is digital trust the key to sustainable development?

How Arup planners use the power of digital

Projects around the world show the value and credibility of digital tools to create growth and deliver sustainable results.

The urban canopy of cities is an essential part of green infrastructure providing comfortable environments and reducing heat. Arup’s urban canopy analysis used is a study for the city of Gold Coastwhich uses a computer algorithm to determine the percentage of vegetation cover over different time intervals to show canopy changes.

Terrain is Arup’s bespoke artificial intelligence and land use analysis tool. It harnesses the power of data analytics, machine learning, and automation to accurately digest large amounts of data and satellite imagery. Using this tool, we calculated the sponginess of seven cities by measuring areas of green and blue infrastructure to understand how cities can better use this infrastructure to address the growing threats of climate change, including strong rains and extreme heat events.

Another Arup tool is the City Algorithm Tool (CAT) which tests hundreds of growth scenarios using different parameters of development and community value to determine optimal outcomes for city living. For example, Smakkelaarsveld in the Netherlands used algorithms to optimize program design against several KPIs, including sustainability and environmental goals.

Likewise, the digital blueprint can test site and enclosure options against various variables and parameters to test for failure, resilience, coping pathways, and optimal living conditions.

Last example, the solar analysis makes it possible to test hundreds of layouts and orientations to achieve optimal living conditions and thermal comfort. For example, for Mahindra World City Jaipur, we used solar assessment tools to determine the optimal orientation of plots and streets to provide thermal comfort in a hot climate.