Carnegie Mellon University

Photo of 3D model of city of pittsburgh

Using Virtual Reality and 3-D Technology to Plan Cities

As cities grow, technology will be at the center of ensuring the growth results in positive change for citizens. One approach, coming out of Carnegie Mellon University, is to pair virtual reality and 3D modeling with urban design.

The MetroLab Network has partnered with Government Technology to bring its readers a segment called the MetroLab Innovation of the Month Series, which highlights impactful tech, data and innovation projects underway between cities and universities. This month’s installment of the Innovation of the Month series, features Carnegie Mellon University’s Metro21 research study on 3-D visualization software for city planning and urban design applications.

The objective of the 3-D visualization project was three-fold:

1) To research state-of-the-art 3-D urban planning software
2) To test and evaluate the software
3) To develop a protocol for implementing 3-D software for city planning departments, planning consultant, and university researchers.

For city planning tasks, location-based geospatial platforms currently offer the greatest potential for both geospatial and 3-D modeling compatibility. This platform is now capable of real-time design and modeling (e.g., of buildings and other design objects) and VR positioning.

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.

To view the full article, click here.

To learn more about the 3D Visutalization Metro21 Project, click here.