Digitalisation and artificial intelligence (AI) are having a significant impact on social and economic development. In many facets of society, such as commerce, logistics, mobility, working life, leisure, media use, social contacts, and increasingly in education, healthcare, and technical infrastructure, the interpenetration of the non-digital and digital realms is now taken for granted. The basic principles which underpin various aspects of life have become more flexible, and products and services are increasingly available regardless of time and place.
These trends present new challenges for spatial planning and development, especially given the guiding principle of organising spaces in a manner that is forward-looking, sustainable, resilient, and focused on the common good. Local actors face expectations to adopt social, economic, and technological innovations and adapt their governance structures. The available resources, and thus the opportunities for successful implementation, differ for municipalities of different sizes. There is considerable uncertainty regarding technological developments and their potential as well as the requirements for their use in planning and administrative structures. Ethical and data protection concerns are just as crucial as the implications for researchers and practitioners of spatial planning and development.
Against this backdrop, the Working Group aims to systematically analyse artificial intelligence’s relevance for spatial science, discuss and assess existing and predicted developments, and identify potential actions and strategies for research and practice.