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Smart City Plan brings data-driven urban planning next year

Become the all-seeing eye

If you live in the UK, you’ve probably heard those ads about smart meters that’ll tell you what bits of your home are whirring away using the most energy. Take that principle and apply it to all the stuff you might want to do in a city builder and you’ve got Smart City Plan. Conveniently, one of the ways you can offset your energy use in the game is by pasting plants everywhere, a thing I also do. You can see it in action in the trailer below.

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Some very good optimistic, industrious music going on there.

As I said, the “smart” part of Smart City Plan apparently applies to everything, and is very specifically the definition that just involves throwing data collection at the wall and assuming it inherently makes things better. Smart public transport watches the commuters to get a better idea of when and where they’re travelling. Smart energy use involves managing for peak times, like when everyone in the UK gets up to put the kettle on during an ad break. Smart garbage management apparently lets you collect people’s rubbish only when they need it, rather than on a weekly schedule.

I can see no way in which any of this kind of obsessive focus on gathering information on everyone in your city could go wrong or alternatively go a bit too right and turn into a dystopian mess.

Obviously, you’ll be starting a bit smaller, with roads and houses and the like. But things do escalate, with questions around gun control and environmentalism among the political choices you’ll be wrangling. And how to go about attracting “special” industries, which from the trailer appears to be plonking a great big rocket down and letting it take off a few metres from a road. Now that’d make your citizens’ commutes a bit more interesting.

Smart City Planning is scheduled to launch in early 2020, but you can take a look at all the information and decisions you’ll have under your fingertips already on its Steam page.

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