Rittenbruch, Markus, Foth, Marcus, Mitchell, Peta, Chitrakar, Rajjan, Christensen, Bryce, & Pettit, Christopher (2021) Co-Designing Planning Support Systems in Urban Science: The Questions They Answer and the Questions They Raise. Journal of Urban Technology. (In Press)
Big data analytics in smart cities has given rise to the new interdisciplinary field of urban science, which uses data mining, visual analytics, modelling and simulation to create novel planning support systems. One such system is RAISE – the Rapid Analytics Interactive Scenario Explorer, which assists urban planners and local government authorities with rapid analysis and visualisation of land value uplift from proposed transport infrastructure. This paper’s contribution is twofold. We first introduce co-design as a method for developing a planning support tool such as RAISE and present findings from a series of co-design workshops that informed its development. Findings included the need for further transparency of the land valuation process and recommendation of a community feature that explains valuation outcomes to landowners. The resulting insights from the co-design process led to a series of emerging questions that the design of this type of planning support system raises: (a) the collaboration with local government partners and the need for institutioning; (b) some of the ethical implications of use, and; (c) the impact of moving from conventional to AI/machine learning-assisted modelling. We discuss these questions as part of our second contribution. The paper concludes by reflecting on the process of using the development of RAISE not just as a solution but as an opportunity to problematise new questions and identify future research opportunities that tackle these questions.