What Computer Scientists Can Teach Planners About Design

Architect Dave Hampton reviews the 2nd annual Urban Sciences Research Coordination Network workshop held June 11 in Chicago.

1 minute read

June 27, 2014, 5:00 AM PDT

By melaniecj


A stream of mobile apps

Phil Aaronson / Stream of Apps

Architect Dave Hampton wondered what his work had in common with that of computer and social scientists.

However, after accepting an invitation (upon being assured he wouldn’t be viewed as “interloper”) from a computer scientist he knew to attend the 2nd annual Urban Sciences Research Coordination Network workshop held on June 11 in Chicago, Hampton shares that he found that “big data” is relevant across several disciplines.

“After having Charlie allay my fears and settling in, aside from the occasional inevitable bits of specialized-disciplinary jargon, my stereotypes of what a computer and social science conference would be were quickly neutralized,” Hampton wrote. “Presentations were clear, compelling, and made the case that ‘big data’ was more than buzz – it was immensely useful across a variety of disciplines, and with wide-reaching, transformational implications in our lives.”

Computers can be used to calculate the impacts of design over decades, Hampton said he learned.

He recounts what the various speakers at the workshop discussed and he shares his three takeaways from the workshop.

Thursday, June 19, 2014 in UrbDeZine

Aerial view of New York City architecture with augmented reality visualization, blue digital holograms over buildings and skyscrapers

4 Ways to Use AI in Urban Planning and City Design

With the ability to predict trends, engage citizens, enhance resource allocation, and guide decision-making, artificial intelligence has the potential to serve as planners’ very own multi-tool.

February 20, 2024 - ArchDaily

View from shore of Sepulveda Basin water catchment basin with marsh plants along shore.

LA’s ‘Spongy’ Infrastructure Captured Almost 9 Billion Gallons of Water

The city is turning away from stormwater management practices that shuttle water to the ocean, building infrastructure that collects and directs it underground instead.

February 25, 2024 - Wired

"It's The Climate" sign over street in Grants Pass, Oregon.

Oregon Town Seeks Funding for Ambitious Resilience Plan

Like other rural communities, Grants Pass is eager to access federal funding aimed at sustainability initiatives, but faces challenges when it comes to meeting grant requirements.

February 18, 2024 - The Daily Yonder

Front view of stone home with severe tornado damage and portions of roof ripped off.

10 States Where Insurance Costs Impact Housing Affordability

Insurance companies are responding to the increasing frequency and intensity of severe weather events caused by climate change by raising home insurance premiums in high-risk states, adding another hurdle to housing affordability in the U.S.

5 hours ago - Fox Business

View of small pedestrian bridge in Prescott Preserve Palm Springs, California with palm tree oasis and mountains in background.

Rewilding the Golf Course

How former golf courses are being transformed from manicured lawns to vibrant habitats.

6 hours ago - The New York Times

Red Los Angeles Fire Department fire truck parked on pier in San Pedro, California at Port of Los Angeles.

Safe Streets Ballot Measure Runs Into Unexpected Opposition

Los Angeles's Measure HLA would compel the city to make serious upgrades for walking, biking, and other forms of active transportation, all in the name of saving lives. Its biggest opponent: the firefighters union.

7 hours ago - California Planning & Development Report

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.