Jun 15
Jan-Philipp Exner, Peter Zeile, Bernd Streich

Human as Sensors

Continuous observation and monitoring of developments and changes in quality of spatial phenomena has always been a central task in the urban, spatial and environmental planning at various scales. Similar to the discussion about “Web 2.0″, “monitoring” will be used in a very intense discussion of innovative planning methods. It means observation of a phenomenon over a longer period, with the result of using the knowledge gained on forecasts for a reactive or constructive control. As mentioned in the conference topic, cities, regions and spatial phenomenas do have changes and lifecycles. Though, what are changes and how could they be identified and measured? Monitoring of these issues could be the key to that and will gain more importance in the future of planning. Observation processes and furthermore, issues like smart cities and energy efficiency gains incremental importance in the context of urban planning. The amount of potential useable data for planners is growing and there will the question how to make use of it. Especially the upcoming presence and rise of sensor data will contribute to that. In times of the GeoWeb, the use of mobile based planning methods for communication and collecting data, GPS, tracking, the analysis of time in spatial planning and “smart sensoring” will gain importance: How humans can be used as an “intelligent sensor” for a better planning through the use of smartphones for example. Issues like inductive monitoring and crowdsourcing in this context with the potentials of social communities together with location based services (social geography) will be observed as well. The task for planners will be to identify what kind of data is important and how to deal with heterogeneous data in general and how to interpret it. However, there will be a lot of research for the question, what role planners could play on this interface between real and digital world. This study will give an overview about new fields of research for planners and how monitoring in this spatial and urban planning context could be used wisely.

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