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Using big data will lead to smarter urban infrastructure

Collective intelligence can make city assets more efficient, resilient and sustainable.

Digital twins operate as a computerized reproduction of a physical entity in the built environment. My research seeks to improve the performance of urban infrastructure and buildings by making use of digital twins, as a decision-making platform fed by big data.  

Traditionally, decisions around urban development and renewal have been made by municipal authorities, but residents have been able to increase their influence as communications technology and networks proliferate.

Citizens are shifting from end-users to prosumers — sending traffic information through our smart phones, providing policy feedback on social media, or generating electricity to supply the grid, for example.

I aim to identify how big data in combination with AI can detect patterns, further public empowerment and create, not only smarter cities, but smarter citizens as well.

My name is Mazdak Nik-Bakht and I am an assistant professor in the Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering.

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