A man sitting in front of a scale with AI on one end and a digital brain on the other.

Navigating the Ethical Landscape for AI in Urban Planning

Uncover some of the largest ethical issues related to using AI in urban planning and the steps cities around the world are taking to ensure fairness, honesty, and accountability as this revolutionary technology becomes more embedded in the modern world.

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Course Info

  • Duration 6 video lessons (66 Mins)
  • Published Published
  • Trending Trending
  • 4.38
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Browse Course Chapters

  • Chapter Locked
    Chapter Duration 5 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    The Ethical Implications of AI
    Chapter Duration 22 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Case Studies and Examples
    Chapter Duration 7 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Examples of Guidelines and Strategies for AI Implementation
    Chapter Duration 15 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Strategies for Implementing Ethical AI in Planning
    Chapter Duration 5 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Chapter Duration 10 mins

What You Will Learn

  • Identify and understand the ethical concerns related to the use of AI, such as privacy issues, bias in data and algorithms, issues of transparency and accountability, and implications for social equity.
  • Critically evaluate the direct and indirect consequences of AI-driven decisions as they may arise in planning.
  • Justify and communicate AI use to stakeholders, and address conflicting ethical principles.
  • Understand the importance of data governance, exploring approaches to enhance algorithmic fairness, transparency, and robustness, and promoting responsible AI.

Course Description

Concerns about recent developments in AI have prompted some serious conversations at the highest levels of government. Many of the concerns identify ethics and fairness as extreme challenges. Understanding these ethical implications of AI, particularly as they relate to urban planning, is vital to promoting fairness, protecting privacy, ensuring accountability, and enhancing transparency. AI's potential for bias may perpetuate systemic inequalities if unchecked. Also, due to AI's complexity, unintended consequences can arise. Urban planners must grasp these ethical aspects to employ AI effectively and responsibly to serve their communities equitably and fairly.

Concern also stems from the relative newness of AI and uncertainty about its future. Major concerns include data privacy, inequitable outcomes, transparency, accountability, the displacement of jobs, over-reliance on technology, access and inclusion, and environmental impact. To mitigate these concerns, it's crucial to adopt a responsible and proactive approach toward AI use in urban planning that ensures transparency, privacy, fairness, and accountability and involves diverse stakeholders in the decision-making process — much like we already strive to do in the planning profession. The objective is to find tools that will improve our abilities to observe, analyze, and make plans that lead to improved quality of life.

Learn these skills

  • Civic Engagement
  • Data Analysis
  • Equity
  • Ethics
  • Modeling & Simulation
  • Technology


This course is approved for 1 AICP CM credit.


This course is 1 LU.

Meet Your Instructor

Tom Sanchez

Tom Sanchez

Tom Sanchez is a professor of Urban Planning specializing in Artificial Intelligence, Technology, and Landscape Architecture.

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