Tuesday 20 February 2018


There is a digital divide on both sides of the aisle of private and public sectors. Finger pointing at one another, is causing a problem for the planning of urban futures. It’s the old carrot and stick story. The corporate world tolerates government intervention and will grudgingly take action if prodded by the threat of regulatory retaliation. However it is the people who have gathered power mainly through NPO’s to motivate businesses to try extra hard to solve planning settlements.


Extraordinary changes are being made to enable architects, engineers and owners of buildings and infrastructure, to address design challenges. Computer software has jumped from computer-aided design (CAD) to digital prototyping, model driven design, and interoperability.


These transformative software technology activities are driven by need for productivity and efficiency by improving the performance of facilities over there full life cycle. The technologies helping urban planning are surfacing with geographic information systems (GIS) and are beginning to introduce measures of understanding energy inputs versus green house gas emissions.


Presently most of the world’s buildings and infrastructure (roads and highways, power, water and wastewater, telecommunications, oil and gas pipeline networks) are all designed using CAD desktop applications. Models make it possible to visualize moving parts, sometimes referred to in architectural design as building information modeling. (BIM)  BIMs not only reduce costs of AEC activities but also reduce the downstream of this ability has given rise to coordinating design in Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC)


We are entering an area where we need to coordinate the disciplines required to design urban settlements. The management of these new information-modeling realms becomes more complicated. It means building bridges for urban information modeling (UIM) converging architectural design, engineering, land development, civil engineering, construction, geospatial disciplines, 3D visualization and simulation technologies. This is only a start, as one should add many other disciplines such as landscape architects, geologists, foresters, agriculturists, environmentalists, urban and transportation planners, economists and emergency planners, first responders, together with the politbureau and citizens.


There needs to be a seamless access to facilities data inside, outside and underneath all urban structures in an interactive 3D simulation that reduces risk and allows settlements to deal rapidly with emergency situations.


The integration of model-driven design, BIM/CAD/GIS and emerging UIM modeling demands convergence with 3D visual simulation and gaming models such as SIMCITY. This is breaking down the silos of existing professional disciplines and allowing citizens to better comprehend where their taxes are being distributed in the future urban design of their city, suburban and rural areas.


The advanced texture “metrics” from visual satellite photographic capabilities is a way to also analyze land-use cover classifications via genetic algorithms. Imagine all the alternative opportunities that can be reached with a quantified measurement of energy efficiency prescribed for future urban designed communities. Now this is a way to respect balance between man-made and natural environments.

There is a triad for investing in urban design it is patience, discipline and tools. If one does this with harmony, future urban design quality is then based upon fundamentals, value, and growth.

How much of this technology is being instituted in this SJVB and SJP effort? Who amongst the region is coordinating the integration of the best people to resolve a good regional scenario? And who will steward the plan for the Great Valley and lead the plan implementation?

Graham Kaye-Eddie


Master Urban Designer 554 words   10/20/07

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