Adapting urban environments to current challenges requires a multidisciplinary understanding of interrelated and complex phenomena. In the context of digital-era massive data production and enhanced analytical capacities, there is still enormous untapped potential in the use of disruptive technologies to support evidence-based decision-making processes in the field of urban planning. Moreover, the impact that such technologies may have in the current urban planning practice is yet to be assessed. Urban planning decision-making involves multiple stakeholders in complex governance settings. Such decisions should be evidence-based, and their results continuously evaluated to correct unwanted impacts, but this is not yet the prevalent paradigm.
Using disruptive technologies in the urban planning decision-making process bears the risk of excluding some parts of the population; in particular, older adults, who are less digitally literate and might show distrust of decisions and engagement based on technology. At the same time, European cities are facing the challenge of adapting to an increasing aging population, so it is crucial to engage this part of the population in decision making processes.
In this context, URBANAGE aims at assessing the potential benefits, risks and impact of implementing a long-term sustainable framework for data-driven decision-making in the field of urban planning for aging well in cities. This model will be developed through an inclusive co-creation strategy with relevant stakeholders (public servants) and users (older adults) and based on a decision-support Ecosystem that integrates multidimensional Big Data analysis; modelling and simulation with Artificial Intelligence algorithms, visualization through Urban Digital twins and gamification for enhanced engagement purposes. Based on a thorough understanding of users’ needs, it will be validated by piloting use-cases in three local planning systems in Europe (Helsinki, Santander and Flander).