3D/Data Visualization for Urban Design and Planning

In the coming decades, American cities will increasingly rely on computational systems to improve many aspects of urban life. Distributed networks of sensors and networked computation will be fundamental technologies for achieving important civic goals, such as increasing the efficiency of using and maintaining city infrastructure, streamlining city operations and decision-making, improving public health and safety, and monitoring the environmental and social conditions of urban life. The term “Smart City” has emerged to describe these systems.

In August of 2014, the City of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding that outlined a City/CMU partnership (Metro21) for research, development and deployment of new technologies using Pittsburgh as an urban laboratory.

A significant challenge of the study was to demonstrate how to communicate design scenarios and abstract data to elected officials, private developers, academic institutes, and citizens using 3D visualization tools.