Conference paper
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The Planning and Transport Research Centre has just completed a major Smart Cities project entitled “RailSmart Planning Wanneroo”. The output was an interactive digital platform which tests optimal public transport patronage and employment creation potential of various railway station development options. The process of formulating the system was fascinating as this paper will argue that the concept of modelling intrinsic within the Smart Cities concept is a return to 1950’s procedural planning policies such as mixed method planning and a bounded rationality. The project highlighted the danger of entrenching existing patterns if systems are fully automated and argues that the power in the smart modelling should be limited to informing scenarios to best test alternatives. The power of the dashboard does not lie in the results it generates but rather in the patterns and trends it displays. The paper begins by describing the project and its outputs this is followed by a deeper reflection on how this was achieved procedurally. The process of creating this dashboard laid bare the dilemmas of planning where planners serve more than one client as they are working for a client in the public realm and within a political reality.

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