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Could a 3D model help London visualise the future?

City Hall wants to find out if a 3D model showing proposed developments would aid understanding of the impact of planning decisions?

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City Hall is working towards the digital transformation of planning
City Hall is working towards the digital transformation of planning

Greater London Authority (GLA) is calling on local planning authorities, providers and the planning and development sector to share their views on what technology is available to deliver a 3D model free at the point of use for Londoners.

 

Visualising development before it happens

 

As part of its work around the digital transformation of planning, the GLA said it has been considering next steps to use data to visualise development. For instance, would a 3D model showing proposed developments increase understanding of their impacts with planners and citizens during the design phase? Will it support how communities understand and help shape development?

 

“We are still learning about what other people are doing in this field, but in practice this is still a growth area, with London having the opportunity to lead the way in Europe and setting the standard which others can follow,” said Theo Blackwell, London’s chief digital officer, writing in a blog post on Medium.com.

 

According to Blackwell, the 3D modelling market is a rapidly developing area with numerous products that use the same data but provide different tools to access and develop it.

 

These include Vu.City which has been widely adopted by London boroughs and is being trialled by the GLA, and Zmapping which is attempting to access this market sector using a gaming interface.

"Legacy’ systems suppliers in the field of planning have been developing ways to address the move to 3D modelling, however limited movement has yet been delivered"

Meanwhile, in the blog, he cities Future Cities Catapult as leading the way with thinking about open data for London and added: ‘Legacy’ systems suppliers in the field of planning have been developing ways to address the move to 3D modelling, however limited movement has yet been delivered."

 

He goes on to write that Northgate has developed a 3D platform for Jersey where applicants can drop on their pre-apps and applications and GLA is monitoring the effectiveness of this work, while Milton Keynes has been leading on a project which implements artificial intelligence (AI) in planning, from which it is also keen to learn.

 

Blackwell states on the post that the GLA’s aim is to:

  • Understand how 3D modelling can be used to change how it understand the impacts of proposed developments both as residents and as professionals, and how it changes the decisions it makes;
  • Find the best solutions for Londoners in how they can consume and engage this information whether through web tools, mobile apps, in borough offices or some other medium;
  • Begin to understand the best ways to do this as part of its wider digital planning transformation work.

Those who would like to register an interest in the project, should email [email protected]

 

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