Reinventing urban planning

Using more advanced tools for urban planning in a data-rich environment.

Urban planning is more critical than ever

The world is getting more urban, pulled by the allure of megacities. By 2050 two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas compared to 55% today, with 90% of projected urban growth in developing world cities in Asia and Africa. Cities generate disproportionately higher rates of economic growth than rural areas. However, cities are also responsible for “bad” such as crime, congestion, and pollution. Meeting the needs of this burgeoning urban population, including housing, transportation, energy, education, healthcare services, and employment, is a challenge that makes urban planning more critical than ever. These megacities risk becoming home to mega slums, mega-crime, and mega-pollution without effective urban planning.

Traditional urban planning has taken a narrow focus on the development of land and its uses to maximise economic, financial, and demographic goals. City planning was primarily focused on metrics such as return on investment measured in financial terms, or possibly the benefits associated with greater mobility or population capacity. Although important, these metrics fall short of the needs of current planners who must weigh and manage many competing interests and goals expected of urban development.

Whiteshield tools: new thinking in urban planning

Whiteshield has developed four interconnected policy analysis and modelling tools to help policymakers navigate urban planning and address sustainable growth. Urban policymakers can use these tools to examine global best practices in urban design, run urban planning scenarios, and compare results.

Reinventing Urban Planning
  • The Navigator-City™ is an online and 3D city planning simulator that allows policymakers to insert individual building and infrastructure development, incorporate policies, and assess the broader socio-economic impacts.
  • The Resilient Cities Index (“RCI” or “Index”) is a benchmarking tool that examines the strength of cities as clusters for competitiveness, smart capabilities, sustainability, and social inclusiveness. The RCI assesses the vitality of cities and offers urban planners alternative metrics to measure the success of policies and outcomes.
  • Space Productivity is a new concept and metric designed to help policymakers ensure that land use maximises social benefits and generates prosperity.
  • Whiteshield City System Modelling Approach is an advanced system dynamics tool that evaluates the effects of urban policies and developments, such as immigration and tax policy.



Senior Partner

Tom Flynn




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