One of the courses eligible for the Ethical AI portfolio program is Dr. Junfeng Jiao’s Smart City Practicum Planning Studio (CRP 395C). If you’re interested in learning more about the practicum, check out the excellent projects completed by the students in the Spring 2023 course!
Resilience hub: This team considered the importance of working to decentralize resiliency efforts so as to better meet the needs of individual communities and neighborhoods and respond to the unique climate impacts felt within those various locations themselves due to their infrastructure and ecology. Following this pivot, this team developed the second stage of this project, which is the concept of a network of resilience hubs, to better serve communities with less access to resources and with less mobility and to support better people facing climate vulnerability. From this change, this team developed two new project elements to focus on during the spring semester of the planning studio course, sustainability analysis (building a decentralized resilience grid) and community engagement plan (how to design for the resilience of smart hubs at the neighborhood scale).
Austin Innovation Plan: This study aims to create a clear vision and strengthen the partnerships between stakeholders and enhance community engagement. Also, it has the potential to improve the quality of life for Austin residents through smart city technologies and civic engagement
AustinGPT: This project proposes a comprehensive research plan aimed at comparing the efficacy of ChatGPT and Google Bard in the context of the city of Austin, Texas. This project will assess their ability to respond to a diverse set of questions encompassing various aspects of the city, such as its history, attractions, public services, and local culture. Through this comparative analysis, this project seeks to provide valuable insights that could aid city governments and other stakeholders in making informed decisions about implementing large language models as chatbots for public information purposes.
GoBevo as MaaS: The GoBevo team is in the process of developing an all-in-one transportation prototype app for UT Austin students, faculty, and staff. This cutting-edge concept, known as mobility as a service (MaaS), would allow the UT community to use a single app to plan multi-modal trips, locate and unlock micro-mobility options, and ride buses and rail. The key benefit to an app like this is that information and tickets for different mobility providers (i.e. CapMetro bus and rail, MetroBike, Lime, and Bird) are all in a single app. Adopting a program like this would support UT Austin’s 2016 Sustainability Master Plan’s goal of increasing the accessibility of alternative commuting options and decreasing the number of single-occupant vehicle commuters.
Safe Route to School +: The goals of this project include identifying consistent programming that promotes school-aged children actively engaging with the site. This can be in the form of weekly or monthly ‘walk to school’, or ‘bike to the library’ group activities starting at the SmartHub, producing video maps to be used by students, families, teachers, and SRTS program coordinators for educational map literacy purposes and safety training purposes. These maps aim to educate community members on sustainable practices that benefit future generations and collect sidewalk data that will help the city maintain conditions and track the SRTS project progress. The upgraded survey methodology can allow regional and community planners to compare neighborhoods, districts, cities, and states virtually with Video Maps.