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July 20, 2017 7:36 PMCategory: Health Equity

The Impact of Big Data on Planning

What is Big Data? 

Big Data is all of the data that we produce doing every day things like:

  • pay with our credit/debit cards
  • send emails/text messages
  • use our GPS
  • tweet

Every day, we produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. This data comes from many places and is collected from things as mundane as our thermostats and refrigerators. With all of the data that is available and increasing every day, city governments are finding ways to use this data to help plan and manage their cities more efficiently. The hope and goal is to become ‘Smart Cities’.

How can Big Data impact design?

There has been a significant shift in how and for whom buildings are being designed. Buildings aren’t just for people now. They are for equipment, people, and commerce. Data can be used by architects to design buildings that are unique, safe and efficient.

There are many ways to work with data for planners, urban designers, and architects:

  • meeting user needs
  • modelling and experimentation
  • improve local and national policy making and implementation
  • speeding the development process by increasing transparency

Some of these uses relate directly to the design process and others simply make the process of designing better places and space easier.

How can Big Data impact end use for design?

Buildings produce many streams of data. These streams come from:

  • design and construction
  • evaluation once the building is occupied
  • utilities, meters, building management systems and services
  • infrastructure and transport systems
  • enterprise systems for purchasing, work scheduling, performance reports
  • replacement and maintenance systems
  • cost monitoring for operations
  • info and communications tech systems and equipment

This type of data can inform data analytics and is frequently used in smart technologies. Smart technologies systems don’t simply monitor and analyze data. This technology allows systems that monitor and control to interact and change the other to respond specifically and critically to the data analysis being received. Smart buildings rely on the connected nature of the technology to make buildings intelligent and responsive to the needs of users.

Could health data be analyzed in conjunction with Big Data to provide solutions to complicated place-based health issues? Big Data has the capability to transform the design process for buildings and communities.

For more information about the use of data and how it can inform and impact the built environment, read the article: Designing With Data.

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