Artificial intelligence enabled participatory planning: a review

Jiaxin Du, Xinyue Ye, Piotr Jankowski, Tom Sanchez, Gengchen Mai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Participatory planning is a democratic spatial decision-making process involving multiple stakeholders. The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) methods in participatory planning has the potential to improve the decision-making process. However, there are challenges and limitations that need to be addressed. In this paper, we systematically review the progress of AI-enabled participatory planning, identifying strengths and weaknesses. We used a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) framework for our analysis, highlighting the opportunities for advancing AI in participatory planning and the potential threats that may arise. Our study provides valuable insights into the current state of AI-enabled participatory planning, paving the way for future developments and improvements. Highlights Deep learning elevates participatory spatial decisions. AI’s strengths in urban planning are on data, communication, and automation. Emerging AI tools support richer urban research contexts. Challenges remain on digital divide, trust, privacy, and accountability. AI’s potential is an ethical urban asset rather than a controversial adversary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Urban Sciences
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


  • Artificial intelligence
  • democratic decision-making
  • GIS
  • participatory planning
  • spatial decision support
  • ‌AI challenges and limitations


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