Building information modeling (BIM) has revolutionized the way buildings are designed, built, and managed. Now, in the face of an increasingly urbanized world, BIM could be applying the benefits it has brought to buildings to entire cities through a new concept called city information modeling (CIM).

CIM could help address many of the issues that face cities today, like urban sprawl, congestion, and even civic engagement. Here’s a look at how your BIM training could play a role in the potentially transformative power of CIM.

CIM Uses Data From BIM and Applies Them to Broad Urban Issues

Each BIM project contains a vast amount of data about that particular building, such as materials, energy consumption, construction methods, building systems, and more. In building information modeling college, you’ll learn how this information can help improve efficiencies during every stage of a building’s lifecycle, from design to post-construction maintenance. However, buildings don’t exist in isolation. They are parts of cities and they affect their surrounding neighbourhoods and are affected by them in turn.

A CIM integrates data from BIM and other sources, such as sensors and the Internet of Things, to create a digital model of not just one building, but an entire city. This allows various stakeholders, such as urban planners, architects, city officials, and even residents, to work with the same, real-time digital model of the city in order to better understand how both existing and proposed buildings and urban systems interact with each other.

BIM data is plugged into CIM to give stakeholders a clearer understanding of urban issues
BIM data is plugged into CIM to give stakeholders a clearer understanding of urban issues

Your BIM Training Can Help CIM Make Urban Planning More Collaborative

Many different professionals—such as property developers, engineers, architects, transit authorities, and government officials—have a say in how cities are planned. However, they don’t always have the same motivations or expertise. A traffic engineer, for example, may be focused on keeping traffic moving smoothly without considering how a new road or highway may affect the liveability of a neighbourhood.

CIM helps solve this issue. As you’ll learn in your building information modeling courses, BIM centralizes all data pertaining to a building in a single 3D model, allowing engineers, architects, property owners, and others to make and see changes to it in real time. Since everyone works with the same model, changes become highly collaborative. CIM takes this concept from BIM and scales it up, so each stakeholder can use their own expertise to flag potential issues that a proposed change to the CIM could pose.

BIM and CIM Working Together Can Help Democratize City Planning

One of the more exciting aspects of CIM is how it could potentially have a transformative impact on how cities are governed. While most building models are today privately held, there is an open BIM movement that pushes for the data in BIM projects to be made more transparent and publicly available. With CIMs, this proposal is being pushed even further so that citizens have full access to the data contained within a city’s CIM model.

This access would allow citizens to see, for example, what effect a new construction project would have on pollution levels in their neighbourhood or how access to schools and transit would be impacted by building a new condo tower nearby. This increased access to data would help create more informed and engaged citizens. It is an especially exciting sign of how the technology you’ll learn in BIM training could change the world for the better, and help to build a brighter future.

Are you ready to make an impact through BIM?

Your career awaits.