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AI for the Resilient City

Pilot of a scalable planning and predictions data visualization tool enables municipalities to better evaluate infrastructure projects, mitigate climate risks and invest effectively 

Around the world, resiliency planning is finding its way to the top of municipalities’ agendas. The need to prepare for climate-related hazards — from droughts to fires, heat waves to rising global temperatures — has never been more urgent. 

That’s why Evergreen has developed AI for the Resilient City. The data visualization tool — funded through a grant from Microsoft’s AI for Earth program — aims to help municipalities across Canada plan for and mitigate the impacts of climate change. 

The City of Calgary will be the first to pilot the new tool, which in its initial phase will examine extreme heat in the city, otherwise known as the Urban Heat Island effect (UHI). The tool will create an integrated view of a wide range of data, letting municipal stakeholders see which areas of the city are most impacted by UHI, with the goal of projecting future UHI levels across the city. The municipality can then use the information to plan for a more climate resilient future. 

The tool, built on the Microsoft Azure cloud computing service, has been designed to scale geographically and technically. Municipalities across Canada will be able to leverage the AI technology to address a host of climate-related hazards, from flooding to earthquakes. It will help visualize pressing questions: What did the City look live five year ago? What could it look like in 50, if the status quo is maintained? What impact would various climate interventions have? 

The tool’s many features allow for in-depth prediction and planning: 

  • Scenario Modeling View, pictured above, allows users to simulate a view of the future by modifying various urban features or climate variables 
  • Story Mode allows users to see data insights as easily digestible stories 
  • Explore Mode provides a granular view of the data 
  • 2D/3D Building Footprints View allows users to see every building in the City 
  • Satellite Image View creates a satellite view of points of interest on the ground 
  • Compare View allows users to compare correlating variables at the same time, or the same variables at different point in time 
  • Forecast Mode lets users study correlations between different variables 

AI for the Resilient City is made possible by AI for Earth, a pillar of the AI for Good, Microsoft’s commitment to empower those working around the world to solve humanitarian issues and create a more sustainable and accessible world. The tool has been created in partnership with data science and AI company Gramener. It will be available to municipalities across Canada to plan for and mitigate the impact of climate change in their communities. You can learn more about the project in the video below.