City and County of Honolulu Use 3D to Analyze Transit-Oriented Development

Mayor Peter Carlisle and Ken Schmidt from the City and County of Honolulu, and Michael Contreras of Esri, demonstrate potential scenarios of transit-oriented developments.

Jul 23rd, 2012

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00:01While Mary was looking back at the existing conditions and asking why things were...

00:06...our next presentation looks forward to plan what could be.

00:11So please welcome from the City and County of Honolulu, Mayor Peter Carlisle and Ken Schmidt.

00:22On behalf of the nearly one million residents of Honolulu, Hawaii, I bid the 15,000 of you here today a warm aloha.


00:39Oh, you can do better than that. Let's try it again. Aloha, I can't hear you.


00:45Outstanding. Thank you.

00:48[Inaudible]. Honolulu is a unique island community anchored in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean.

00:56Can you hear me now? Hey!

01:02In our city, you can surf in the morning as the sun rises over Diamond Head.

01:08There is a family culture and family living arrangements; the Hawaiian call family the word ohana.

01:16For decades, we have had a proud history of using GIS to manage our city.

01:22Today, we face the challenge of urban sprawl and extreme traffic congestion.

01:29Honolulu has the dubious distinction of having the worst traffic of any city in the United States of America...

01:38...even beating your northern neighbor, Los Angeles.

01:43To help complete Honolulu's elevated transit system, which is currently under instruction [sic]...

01:49...I reached to our GIS program to visualize how transit-oriented development will benefit all citizens of Honolulu.

01:59Ken Schmidt, our GIS administrator, is here to show us potential scenarios of transit-oriented developments... contrast to doing absolutely nothing.

02:12Thank you, Mr. Mayor.

02:14Thank you, Mr. Mayor.

02:16To understand how transit-oriented development will impact our island communities...

02:20...we worked with local planning professionals to evaluate possible impacts of different design scenarios.

02:27Using the latest geospatial technologies, we're presenting these alternatives to the stakeholders in our communities.

02:34Helping me with the demo today is Michael Contreras of Esri.

02:38Nice aloha shirt, Michael.

02:43Here we can see the island of Oahu with streets and building footprints.

02:46This shows how the linear concentration of the island is along the southern side.

02:52The planned route of the new transit system follows this pattern.

02:56A major factor in planning TOD communities is creating walkable, friendly zones.

03:01We derive the walkability or travel distances from each station to the surrounding area.

03:07This lets us know how many people would consider themselves within walking or cycling distance of each station...

03:12...and how many would consider themselves too far away.

03:17This is crucial for understanding how effective the development will be.

03:22And this is true even for those communities that don't exist, such as the last three stops on the far west end of the route... area of former sugarcane land that is ripe for development that we call Ewa.

03:35To begin our planning, we must first create a model of the physical environment for the entire transit system corridor.

03:43This gives us visualization scenes that are familiar to our stakeholders.

03:48Here is an aerial image showing the downtown district right along the waterfront to Honolulu Harbor.

03:54We can visualize this urban environment using our existing data, which includes 3D geometries...

04:02...produced by the Precision Lightworks products.

04:06As we surf our way to the Honolulu business district, we see that our texture models include many key landmark buildings.

04:14But like many 3D models, we also have a lot of buildings that are not textured.

04:20In fact, we have 3,000 building geometries that are currently blank canvases.

04:26So to improve upon these buildings, we're using a CityEngine rule to paint representative features...

04:32...onto the geometries based on the usage type of each of these buildings.

04:38Adding textures onto the models is as simple as flipping a switch.

04:43So it's effectively painting our blank buildings as you watch.

04:49The software came with a number of sample images for doing this, but we wanted to use real photos taken in Honolulu.

04:57So with some help of some very willing volunteers who wanted to get out of the office...

05:02...and go out on their mopeds on a beautiful day in Honolulu...

05:06...they went and took some pictures of local buildings to get Honolulu building facades.

05:12So now, we have nice buildings for a large section of the city.

05:17But we have more buildings that are only available with building footprints.

05:24So the rules can also generate geometries, and we convert our footprints into complex 3D shapes...

05:32...and apply textures to complete our 3D building model.

05:37There we go, our urban Honolulu.

05:42Buildings are not the only data we need.

05:44We also needed to generate our elevated transit line.

05:47Using engineering drawings, we did so.

05:53Generating all the 3D data we needed for this project was simple.

05:57We just leveraged the data we already had.

06:10Because each of the transit stations will have a unique impact on the surrounding neighborhoods...

06:16...let's take a closer look at the Kalihi station.

06:20It will be vital that local residents have a livable, vibrant community around these stations...

06:26...and for Kalihi, we actually needed to rezone that area to make that happen.

06:31So here's one proposal for that rezoning shown in the traditional way of colored polygons.

06:38But we can do more than simple thematic display that relies on a legend.

06:43We can create building envelopes directly from the zoning rules...

06:47...and we can even generate example buildings that could be built inside these envelopes.

06:53And for anybody who's done permitting, this is a major achievement for us.

06:59Of course, this is just one possible scenario, and there's no guarantee that this is the best one.

07:05In fact, a key principle of geodesign is to iteratively come up with alternative designs and to present them to the community.

07:15Here are the potential buildings for a second development scenario.

07:20All these buildings were generated based on proposed plans using different design standards...

07:25...such as floor area ratio and open-space requirements.

07:30And if the community doesn't like the rules, which isn't unusual, we can change them.

07:37We can even manually design a new building from scratch, and we can do this by simply deleting the generated model...

07:44...and using CityEngine's new 3D model editing tool, interactively sketch in a new one.

07:51For example, a challenge in Hawaii is that buildings need to fit into the existing Hawaiian architecture... a neighborhood's fish market isn't just a generic grocery store.

08:02I can't remember how many public meetings that we've been to where someone has put up their hand and said...

08:07..."I don't like that building."

08:10But now we have the ability to quickly and easily modify the design and say, Alright, how about this one?

08:18Our ability to generate both existing and real-world buildings and potential buildings based on zoning data and edit functions... making it incredibly easy for us to plan and validate different designs for this project.

08:36It is also important to make decisions at the macro scale, and one of the primary goals of the elevated rail transit project... to reduce evil urban sprawl.

08:46By the year 2050, another 140,000 housing units will be required on Oahu.

08:54By analyzing influences such as terrain, slope, and proximity to existing streets, we generated a predictive surface...

09:02...where urban sprawl will appear in currently undeveloped spaces along the transit area.

09:10This clearly shows that the west end of the rail contains some very attractive land for new development.

09:17If we take a closer look at the community of Waipahu, the green area shows where the new housing is likely to be developed...

09:24...but how much and when?

09:27We developed an urban growth analysis to answer that question and then ran it based on the proposed TOD plans...

09:34...that includes urban densification around each station.

09:39The result - the dark blue areas are likely to be filled in over the next 40 years.

09:46But what if we don't build the new rail line?

09:50We simply rerun our analysis, this time based on the current zoning plan, and what is revealed is a very different future.

10:00This is what will happen if we do nothing.

10:03Pretty scary.

10:05More urban sprawl, greater transportation costs, and a less sustainable future.

10:12Of course, having all this great GIS content and knowledge means nothing if we can't share it...

10:17...especially given that we need the public backing to make the elevated rail transit line happen.

10:24We can upload our 3D scenes to the web to connect us directly with the public in a medium that is interesting and engaging.

10:33This is the same urban growth data for Waipahu that we saw in ArcMap but presented in a more human way...

10:40...with actual buildings showing the alternate futures.

10:43This is the current state of Waipahu, a former sugar plantation community.

10:50This is the future of Waipahu if we build the rail.

10:59But this is the state of Waipahu if we continue on the current path, no transit system being built.

11:10Visually, this says it all.

11:13Thank you.

11:20Now the mayor of Honolulu wants to show you another way we are communicating these alternatives to the community.

11:26Can you hear me now?

11:29You know, I was in the back with Jack Dangermond, and I said, I'm amazed that the technology's working so well.

11:37I jinxed myself.

11:40GIS is a bridge to the future.

11:44To further engage the public, we partnered with Zebra Imaging to produce holograms.

11:51Here in front of the stage is a hologram of the Honolulu rail system through the downtown portion of the urban core.

12:00We are now in a tough political battle to determine if the rail system will be completed.

12:07The use of the hologram emphasizes the flexibility that exists for future transit-oriented development.

12:17Rail and TOD, transit-oriented development, will provide the spinal column for sustainable transportation...

12:24...long-term job growth, a greener future, and smart land use that will last for a century to come.

12:32For having us here today, I'd like to say Mahalo nui loa, which means thank you very much.

12:41Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Mayor.

12:47It's good to see you, my friend. Thank you.

12:49It's really a pleasure.

12:51You're pioneering. I don't know if you know this, but you are pioneering something.

12:55That's exciting. It's the whole world of geodesign.

12:59What do you think, Carl? Are you out there?

13:01What do you think? Pretty good, huh?

13:04It's damn good.

13:05It's damn good.

13:07Thank you, Carl.

13:08He was my professor and the...well, to acknowledge this, we're going to give you something called a Making a Difference Award.

13:17Thank you.

13:18To you and also to your staff, this is great. For me, wonderful, isn't it?

13:25This is a huge honor. I'm humbled, and thank you very much.

13:28Thank you. Thank you, Peter. Good luck.


13:36Thank you, Ken. Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Thank you, Jack.

13:41All the presentations that you've seen this morning are using the ArcGIS 10.1 release.

13:47The tools that you have today, except for what you just saw.

13:52That was using the new CityEngine 2012 release, which is still in beta but will ship September 12th.

13:59So I just wanted to reinforce that message that this morning what you're seeing are the tools...

14:04...and the capabilities that you have in your hands.

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