Giving Compass' Take:

· Jason Plautz reports that Sidewalk Labs has developed a generative design tool that can take in a number of different factors and produce a more holistic and efficient planning process for cities. 

· How can this tool be used to build more resilient and equitable communities? 

· Read about how virtual reality can help advance city planning

Sidewalk Labs says the generative design tool isn’t meant to replace existing designers, but rather give them more planning options and consider more data than is currently possible. The tool could help cities, for example, see how one design option might maximize density but inadvertently block sunlight, or show how a creative design could best use existing space. The tool, Whitney and Ho write, could improve opportunities for community engagement and generate more discussion of city plans.

It also fits into Sidewalk Labs' goal to bring machine learning and flexibility to the urban design process. That approach will be put to the test in the company’s Quayside project in Toronto. The development is meant to not just show off data collection technology, but also showcase the potential of smart development, like underground waste collection, weather-adapting buildings and dynamic street pavement that can be modified to fit different needs.

Sidewalk Labs has also worked on street design principles, encouraging developers and planners to adapt to new mobility options by tailoring streets for different modes, separating them based on speed and introducing more flexibility.

Read the full article about Sidewalk Labs by Jason Plautz at Smart Cities Dive.