Arup's offices in Leeds are home to more than 450 engineers, planners, digital experts and technical specialists.
Our cities rely on a complex web of systems and services to survive. As independent experts in the built environment, Arup understand how technology can be used to help cities thrive. They see smart cities as one of the tools for urban development, with people at the heart of the process. They advise policy makers, executives, city departments, developers, and industry on defining how much to invest and how much value they can get from being 'smart'. Their range of services covers strategy and organisation, urban informatics, business systems and architecture, and infrastructure advice that taken together or individually will help deliver smart services.
Satellite imagery can be used as a relatively low-cost way to discover information about a city compared to primary data gathering. Arup has developed a tool that uses satellite imagery to assist planners and authorities to understand how land is being utilised. It uses powerful deep learning artificial intelligence and cloud computing to infer the “type” of land at any particular location. From this data further information can be calculated using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) such as how “spongy” a city is (how well it retains water rather than it running off surfaces which can cause floods). Arup is now undertaking further research to understand applications for other data available from satellite imagery, such as temperature, night-time images, and even whether the signature of airborne pollutants can be detected accurately enough from satellite imagery.