GeoDesign and 3D

At the 2011 GeoDesign Summit, Eric Wittner demonstrates how 3D GeoDesign can be used in an urban setting.  

Jan 6th, 2011

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00:01What I want to do is tell you a little story.

00:03Doing a little bit of geodesign but doing it in 3D.

00:07So what we're looking at here is the city of Philadelphia.

00:10Everyone thinks to the city of Philadelphia and Pictometry for the data, but this the area known as Logan Circle.

00:18It's kind of defined on the boundaries by the Franklin Institute, the Moore College of Art, the library.

00:24You actually, many of you probably know this site.

00:27You've seen it because probably most of you have seen Rocky.

00:32And this is where he ran up the steps and holds his arms up, right.

00:34So that's kind of, we're going to pretend that that's a historical moment that we want to preserve that skyline...

00:43...for history when we're doing our design.

00:47So here we see we're looking at that perspective as if you are Sylvester Stallone and you can see there's...

00:52...a red line that defines what makes up that skyline.

00:56And that's actually a tool we've developed, a new tool at 10.

01:01What it's actually doing is reaching out into the distance and finding each feature that defines that skyline...

01:08......and we create this kind of, this network, that you can turn into a shell.

01:12And that shell represents...if anything violates that shell, then we know that it's destroying that skyline.

01:18We're going to use that a little later on to evaluate our designs and see whether we're actually affecting the skyline.

01:26So, as I mentioned, we've got this area here around Logan Circle.

01:31What we want to do is, we want to do a redevelopment plan for this study area.

01:35We think it's underutilized, we think we could make some changes and improve it.

01:40Basically improve its commercial potential and add some more residential into the area.

01:46So what we're looking at here is a couple pieces of data.

01:50We're looking at land-use data, the red is existing commercial, the orange is residential...

01:54...the green is parks and open space, the purple is institutional.

01:57On top of that we have parcel availability.

02:00The dark yellow parcels are abandoned, the light yellow parcels are ones that we've identified that we want to redevelop.

02:08So, and we also have a small section of light rail that comes in on the bottom left corner there, you can see.

02:14So what we want to do is take those and overlay those.

02:17Classic GIS and do a suitability analysis to see what our redevelopment potential is in this area.

02:23So we're just going to use a geoprocessing model to kind of flatten them and munge them together.

02:28So we can see on the bottom left side here.

02:31In green and blue, the areas that have higher economic redevelopment potential.

02:34I realize there's not a lot.

02:36There's not a lot we can do here.

02:38It's pretty well built to what it currently has in terms of amenities.

02:42What we want to do is, we want to add to this a new light rail system to try and promote some economic development.

02:49So we're just going to go in and quickly sketch in a some sort of light rail system and do...

02:55...redo that redevelopment analysis and see how that's impacted our redevelopment potential in the area.

03:03So this is a rough route of a light rail system.

03:07So we can see in the bottom right there is ModelBuilder running. That's a way that we use to string...

03:12...different geoprocessing tasks together, and then you see a revised economic development...

03:17...redevelopment potential and we've got a lot more blue areas, and we can actually summarize those.

03:22Alright. But looking at it, we still didn't get much on the north.

03:26We still didn't get much on the top, we want to make some changes.

03:30So we're going to resketch that line to try and cover that northern area better and then rerun that analysis... see how that's impacted our redevelopment potential.

03:43See here, we rerun the analysis.

03:52Takes a second, of course.

03:54And then we can look at the summary of how that's impacted and what we're looking at here is actually...

04:01...the little skinny bars on the left are what we had and the thicker ones on the right are what we have now.

04:06So this is this concept that we can keep, as we do design, we can keep doing the analysis.

04:11We can use analysis to inform design.

04:13We can do multiple scenarios. We can try different things. It's this idea that Tim Brown from IDEO touched on.

04:19It's that we learn with our hands, we learn by playing and doing and trying and then evaluating while we do it.

04:27So we've decided that this is, this is kind of the rough configuration of what we want to add to this urban area.

04:33Next thing we want to do is kind of make some decisions about where we want to place these, our buildings... buildings we're going to put in this development.

04:40So what I have is, I have a template of, just to build simple buildings, massing models at different heights, different sizes.

04:47I'm going to go in and in the areas of high redevelopment potential place those massing models.

04:53Now what I want to do is I want to go back and take those massing models and compare them against that...

04:58...critical skyline that we developed and see make sure that they don't extrude beyond that...

05:04...that they don't violate the skyline that we're trying to protect before we go any further.

05:10The next question I want to ask, though, is what type of transportation system am I going to put in.

05:15...that does some data management for us.

05:16Am I going to put in an elevated or a subway?

05:19So here what I did is, I just tilted and I looked underground, and I'm looking at soils underground.

05:24These are kind of a voxel representation of soils 250 meter x,y, half-meter intervals.

05:32What we're going to do is, we're going to take this proposed route, turn it into a subway tube...

05:38...submerge it underground, intersect it with those soils and figure out what we would be excavating in terms of... terms of volume and the types of soils we'd be excavating to see how much that would cost.

05:50So we can kind of see the tube with soils we're going to fly up.

05:53We're going to look inside that tube, kind of look around the corner, see composes the outside.

05:59Maybe because of this we decide, no, we really don't want to do anything subservice...

06:03...we don't want to do the subway, we want to do an elevated system instead.

06:08So, we've decided to do an elevated, what we have is we have a little geoprocessing model...

06:17One, it takes that route, creates an elevated system out of it.

06:21Second thing is it takes all the existing buildings and fills them in around our proposed buildings.

06:28Third thing it does is takes those proposed buildings and splits them into floors and spaces.

06:33And we're going to use those floors and spaces to do analysis inside the building on where...

06:38...we should place different types of land use at the floor, at the suite scale.

06:43So first thing we do we're going to look at that raised, elevated route, and we put stations and stops along that route.

06:50And those stations and stops affect what we decide to put inside those buildings.

06:55So we have a suitability model here that looks at retail suitability and allows you to assess the space inside...

07:01...based on how closely they are to those stops and what kind of connectivity they have with those stops.

07:06So we run that model and we can see now, highlighted in the darker reds, areas that have higher suitability...

07:13...for retail or commercial development in 3D, right?

07:16And it's pretty localized and it's 3D because you have connectivity between the stations and stops differently...

07:23...with the surrounding buildings.

07:25You might have connectivity on the first, second, or third floor for a stop...

07:28...or just on the third floor for a station, right?

07:31So now we actually want to start carving into those buildings and start defining the spaces inside those buildings.

07:37So against our editing, I have template of different types of land uses I can find in my building and I put a retail outlet there.

07:44You put retail outlets across my whole development.

07:46They're one of the things that is key for when I start deciding where I want to put my residential.

07:51'Cause we want to put residential people close to amenities so they have some place to shop...

07:55...when they're looking for groceries or other items.

07:58The second issue of concern is for residential, is we're concerned about the quality of views.

08:04So what we have here is we have five red dots.

08:06These red dots represent attractive views in the city of Philadelphia.

08:10We've got the Logan Circle itself, the archdiocese, the Franklin Institute, and a couple parks.

08:15And what we want to do is assess which spaces in those kind of proposed simple building...

08:19...massing models can see those really attractive views.

08:24So we've got a model that connects those with lines...

08:27...does a line-of-sight analysis and figures out how many attractive views each space could see.

08:33And you could do this with attractive views or you could do it the other way, you could have things... don't want to see, and see how many unattractive views you could have.

08:40So here you can kind of see that diagram connecting the views back into that spaces in the buildings.

08:47The darker green spaces have more views or higher quality of views.

08:51So we have this little building in the background here.

08:53It's a four-story building, we really wanted to put some residential inside that building, but it doesn't have any views.

08:59We've made a decision we want to make it taller.

09:01We want to actually have some residential in those top floors of this building.

09:04So we just go in, we select that building, we delete it.

09:07We're going to sketch in a new building massing model around it that's 10 stories tall.

09:14And then we're going to use the data management tools that we had to, again, split those into those kind of...

09:19...theoretical floors and spaces I was talking about earlier.

09:23Here's the data management model.

09:27This is one building. It runs faster.

09:29Pull the exterior off, you can see those spaces, we rerun that line of sight model.

09:32Here's the line of sight model.

09:34I know it looks kind of big and complex. It's really not that scary.

09:41Do that line-of-sight analysis, and then we can see the spaces inside the floors, darker green, lighter green...

09:46...depending on the quality of the views.

09:49So now we want to combine the view quality, the proximity to those retail outlets, to do residential suitability...

09:56...inside buildings, and then we're going to carve it, go back inside the buildings and start defining...

10:00...spaces inside the buildings.

10:02So here, I'm drilling down back to the first floor.

10:04I'm going to start sketching out what I want to put inside this building.

10:07It's next to a station, so I want to put commercial on the first floor.

10:11We've got an off-street parking requirement, so we can't...

10:17On the second floor, we want to put another commercial space right next to a station where there's connectivity.

10:22On the opposite side where there's low-quality views, we're going to put in office space.

10:27We have an off-street parking requirement, you can't negatively impact the streets, we can't just force everybody... park on the street, so we're going to actually have a parking structure and a ramp for people to get up.

10:40And then above that, we're going to go ahead and place some residential areas.

10:44You can see, we're starting near the parts that have higher-quality views on one side of the building.

10:48So again, I sketch in a residential area on the third floor, and I can duplicate that to the fifth and the sixth floor.

10:56So this is the same concept we've seen before except now we're sketching in 3D, and we're planning...

11:03...a land use in 3D kind of at the building or the suite scale.

11:09And we can do that across our whole area, create all the spaces.

11:12Now we want to take these kind of simple massing models that we have, which are ugly gray blocks...

11:18...and we want to improve them.

11:20So in this case we're going to export this gray block out to COLLADA.

11:23We're going to bring it in to SketchUp, which is kind of the more common tool for doing attractive exterior work.

11:29And then we're going to use that SketchUp model once we've enhanced it to replace the gray block... get a more attractive building exterior.

11:36So here, we see the kind of more attractive exterior.

11:39And all these features are created in GIS, right, so they all have attributes.

11:43So at the end, we can do summaries and see how much of each land-use type we created in 3D...

11:49...and see if we actually met the goals of our program.

11:52So I'm not saying that this is how you would do a 3D, this is some of the tools that we have available now that you...

11:58...can use and mix with the other existing GIS tools.

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