00:01Well thanks. It's a great pleasure to be here.
00:02My name is Robert Matthews, and I'm the project director for the Decision Commons Initiative…
00:06…at the University of Washington and the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies…
00:10…and I'm joined here also with my colleague Critter Thompson who's in the audience.
00:15So here's just a quick look at a number of the people who have been great supporters of ours over the last year and a half.
00:22We're currently working under a federal Housing and Urban Development Sustainable Communities Grant…
00:28…and that has really enabled a lot of this work to happen.
00:32So what we're doing is looking backwards at a planning process that took approximately five years to add…
00:40…and plan for the expansion of our light rail system in the Puget Sound area.
00:45And what we're doing is thinking backward at this process and saying, what would it have looked like…
00:51…if we were using geodesign instead of using our traditional planning methods.
00:55So it all started back in 2008 with this reality check exercise where hundreds of executive-level stakeholders got together…
01:03…to play this land and growth allocation game using Legos and, you know, of course this is geodesign in a sense…
01:12…just low tech, and it's very tactile, and the aha moment of course is that we have a lot of growth coming to our region…
01:19…and we take a lot of pride in the beauty and natural aspects of our region and we don't want to lose that.
01:25So how do we reconcile those two things together?
01:28And furthermore, if we look at the study area that we're going to be looking at for this light rail…
01:33…which is where those Legos are all stacked up, the main question was, what would that actually look like in implementation?
01:39What does that look like on the ground?
01:41And how can geodesign help bridge the gap between regional scale planning and implementation where the rubber meets the road?
01:49So here's another look at that study area in purple.
01:52It will expand light rail access from downtown Bellevue to the Microsoft campus in Redmond…
01:59…and this is part of an $18 billion expansion, so a lot's at stake here.
02:05So one of the things we needed to do was think about how we properly objectify all of the things…
02:11…in the built environment and create a data schema that supports that, and we need to be very realistic about market constraints…
02:18…construction constraints, finance, zoning, all of those things, livability, sense of place.
02:25And so that gets to the question of, what is decision commons?
02:28Well it's a facilitation environment that provides really good information for people to learn more and make good decisions.
02:34And it combines smart 3D geodatabase information with a geospatial engine…
02:40…and all of that's packaged up using game engine technology as the runtime visualization environment.
02:46But I'm not going to focus in this presentation much on the methods or the analysis itself…
02:52…but rather on the user experience and what it means to articulate our vision…
02:56…for a real-time geodesign environment that's always 3D all the time.
03:03Okay, so I'm just to play a very quick video that collapses five years of planning into five minutes.
03:08And so one graphic caveat up front, this has been downsampled three times to get it into this video resolution…
03:15…so the graphic quality's a lot better than this. We normally show it at high definition, like home theater projection.
03:21It's really quite stunning when it works.
03:23So you can see our menu system roughly follows the Steinitz framework, explore, create, analyze, and evaluate.
03:31And here again is a look at the Bel-Red Corridor.
03:34There's downtown Bellevue off to the left, and we'll…one aspect of this is that you can explore real-world places using a fluid 3D animation.
03:44It's not an animation, just navigation, so you can be down here at the ground level and see that this, you know…
03:50…area is currently a very industrial character and whatnot, has a lot of development and redevelopment potential.
03:56We can also zoom back out to the corridor and understand the functional adjacencies to the neighborhoods and so forth...
04:02…and continue to zoom out to the regions so we understand the relationships to employment centers, transportation networks…
04:09…and so forth.
04:10Okay, so jump forward a little bit to some early studies and concepts.
04:14The first thing I'll do is talk about exploring existing conditions using just basic standard geospatial information.
04:22So in this example, it's population density, distribution.
04:25You can see that there's a big hole in the doughnut there.
04:27So there's a lot of opportunity for new housing right next to downtown Bellevue.
04:32And next we'll create a simple light rail alignment using simple gestures.
04:36So I'm using a development potential underlay as my base, then I'll just draw a quick alignment using a finger gesture…
04:43…or a few clicks of the mouse, and then next we'll add some light rail stations.
04:49So again I'm just visually optimizing for the amount of land in yellow, which is the most developable.
04:54But of course this is always tied to the underlying geospatial database so it provides all of the normal…
04:59…kind of query power that you'd have through that.
05:02You can view it in 2D or 3D and switch back and forth at will that gives you always the best perspective on the work that you're doing.
05:09We can query that for example to find out how much developable land there is, 53 acres, 95 acres for those two stations.
05:17Okay. Then we can save that and compare it to the other options we've been working on.
05:21So it provides tools for comparison and so forth.
05:23In this case, you can see that option B, which ultimately was the one that was adopted, was the best.
05:30So now we'll zoom forward into scenario development and create some land-use patterns with some simple painting tools…
05:36…very similar to a lot of work that other people are doing.
05:39So I start with a base. I've got a couple of stations, and I'll start painting land uses, just kind of blobs on the screen…
05:46…again using simple finger gestures on a multitouch surface, and these all have a lot of attributes underneath it…
05:53…so we can use that to count up and aggregate up at different scales.
05:58And this is helpful as we move into the official regulatory review process and environmental impact statements.
06:03We can look at the alternatives that we've generated.
06:05And these are all real alternatives. This is all real information, but looking backward.
06:10Then we can compare these metrics and move fluidly between information and design.
06:15So we've got our no-action alternative and our other three alternatives…
06:18…giving some rough order of magnitude information on development potential that's market based.
06:23We can drill down and see some of the details, see the maps.
06:26We could always zoom into the map itself.
06:28We could make edits to the map and the design work and come back and see what the changes were to the numbers.
06:33And of course we can always just support traditional data views to see side-by-side comparisons that way as well.
06:40And we can aggregate a lot of this information up at the dashboard level…
06:44…to connect values of the planning process to metrics and indicators.
06:48But not everything lends itself to that, but a lot of it does.
06:51So we can go in, do some more design work, work with our stakeholders, learn from the community…
06:56…and see how our designs change and move the needle over time, so it's part of the design process.
07:03We can drill down at any time into the underlying methods or the details.
07:06So here's walkability details, here's amount of open space for example, so we can, you know…
07:11…look at the appropriate amount of information for the question at hand.
07:15Okay. Now I'll zoom forward another year into plan implementation.
07:19So this is ultimately what happened with the preferred alternative, but now we need to start getting more specific in terms of zoning.
07:25So I'll turn off the conceptual land use, and we'll start designing and testing some assumptions of zoning.
07:30I've added some streets in there to create a grid network and start painting zoning.
07:36Again, the attributes for the system are in there, and that ultimately forms the basis for the procedural content generation…
07:43…that you'll see in just a second.
07:44So it's obviously an emerging field and very powerful.
07:48So there's my zoning plan for one station.
07:51Now we can connect that to a sense of place by taking it into our existing built environment…
07:56…and then we can see what that might look like if the plan was built out in 2030.
08:00So not a prediction. This is just plausible based on the zoning constraints.
08:04You can zoom down to street level at any time, navigate around to get a sense of how the streets are laid out…
08:10…swap out rights-of-way to see how different profiles look and so forth.
08:15And all this is just live.
08:17So if you're at a meeting and somebody asks a question, instead of not having your presentation panel at hand…
08:22…you can just zoom in to see what you want.
08:25So now we can see how this is powered.
08:27Underneath the hood is a smart geospatial database that lets us work with zoning.
08:32So here we can see simple mapping for 65, 125, or 240 feet.
08:37We can see the architectural expression of those facades as they change through the height changes.
08:44The use also changes the architectural facades, so here's an all office building, here's a mixed residential office building…
08:51…and all residential.
08:53And the rate that that works is underneath that are all of the information that we need from space use.
08:59So that's my all residential building, the mixed building, and the commercial building.
09:04And we can do other things like test developer proposals.
09:06So this developer would come in and say, I want to build this building…
09:10…and we want to understand what the floor area ratio incentive program means in terms of public benefits and so forth.
09:20So that's just a very quick overview of, you know, just a small percentage of the information that we've built into our system.
09:29So I just want to thank you very much for your time, and if you have an interest in talking more, we'd love to chat with you.
Decision Commons: Using Geodesign to Support Light Rail Planning in the Puget Sound Region
Robert Matthews of the University of Washington presents the Decision Commons initiative for expanding the light rail system in the Puget Sound area.
- Recorded: Jan 6th, 2012
- Runtime: 09:35
- Views: 13281
- Published: Feb 16th, 2012
- Night Mode (Off)Automatically dim the web site while the video is playing. A few seconds after you start watching the video and stop moving your mouse, your screen will dim. You can auto save this option if you login.
- HTML5 Video (Off) Play videos using HTML5 Video instead of flash. A modern web browser is required to view videos using HTML5.