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Tree Planting Robot

Robin Price, Maria Oiva,

Ieva Jakuša, Carolyn Kirschner

Tree Planting Robot, project sketch (2023)
Tree Planting Robot, project sketch (2023)

By playfully removing the constraints of human needs and desires, as well as economic and aesthetic concerns around city planning, Tree Planting Robot explores possibilities of algorithmic agents solving environmental problems. The project highlights the many delicate balancing acts which cities are required to engage in.

Tree Planting Robots proposes an alternative approach to city planning by relinquishing control to cold hard climate data and an autonomous tree planting robot. The robot’s single criteria for deciding where to intervene is based on temperature and city planning surface data. If it’s too hot and on the right surface, the robot will drill into the asphalt and plant a tree.

This implies a radical shift in the logics underpinning city planning, which will be introduced via an immersive webAR experience / game / city-wide intervention — playfully confronting the tensions between economic and environmental concerns. The programming of the robot’s algorithm will rely on data from the City Science Lab, using the Connected Urban Twin and agent based modelling and scientific input from GERICS.

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