During the process of urban planning and design, it is important that all stakeholders understand, participate, communicate and collaborate with each other to obtain a high quality outcome. However, communication difficulties mainly occur as a result of different planning cultures, and because there is insufficient collaboration and information sharing during the process. The most common problem is that the information is not presented in such a way that people can understand it. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is becoming a better known established collaboration process that stakeholders can better understand, communicate and make decisions with in urban planning and design (Hergunsel, 2011). In addition, the use of Virtual Reality (VR) technology as a tool for collaboration to exchange information and data has increased significantly (Menck, Weidig, & Aurich, 2013). Thus, this special issue focuses on BIM and VR technologies which play more and more important roles in urban planning and design.
To facilitate public involvement for sustainable development, 3D models simulating real or near future cities using 3D Computer Graphics (CG) can be of great use. 3D city models are important in environmentally friendly urban planning that will use solar photovoltaic (PV) generation. However, enormous time and labour has to be consumed to create these 3D models using 3D modelling software such as 3ds Max or SketchUp. In order to automate laborious steps, this paper proposes a Geographic Information System (GIS) and CG integrated system that automatically generates 3D building models based on building polygons or building footprints on digital maps, which show most building polygons’ edges meet at right angles (orthogonal polygon). A complicated orthogonal polygon can be partitioned into a set of rectangles. The proposed integrated system partitions orthogonal building polygons into a set of rectangles and places rectangular roofs and box-shaped building bodies onto these rectangles. In this paper, for placing solar panels on a hipped roof, the structure of an ordinary hipped roof that is made up of two triangular roof boards and two trapezoidal ones is clarified. To implement efficient PV generation, this paper proposes to automatically generate 3D building models for buildings topped with double shed roofs with overlaid PV arrays. The sizes and positions, slopes of roof boards and main under roof constructions are made clear by presenting a top view and side view of a double shed roof house. For the applied example of the developed system, this papers presents a simulation of the solar photovoltaic generation change of a city block by performing land readjustment and changing the shape of buildings, ordinarily roofed houses or double shed roofed houses suitable for efficient PV generation. Our simulation reveals that double shed roofed houses have greatly improved solar photovoltaic generation.
This paper contributes a design support system based on cloud-computing type virtual reality (cloud-based VR) for urban planning and urban design. A platform for Cloud-based VR technology, i.e. a VR-Cloud server, is used to open a VR dataset to public collaboration over the Internet. The digital attributes representing the design scheme of design concepts includes the land use zone, building regulations, urban design style, and other design details of architectural design, landscape, and traffic/architectural environment/sunshine/wheather/noise/inundation/tsunami/earthquake/evacuati on simulation. Then practice using this cloud-based VR urban design support system is categorized into three applicable case ‘types’, synchronized, distributed synchronized and distributed non-synchronized. The effect of the use of this system in urban design and in urban planning processes is evaluated.
In recent years, designers have used various types of tools, such as public Participation GIS (PP GIS) and Virtual Reality Modelling Language (VRML), to improve urban design concept understanding in the consensus process. However, these tools were frequently criticized as being too complex for the majority of potential users. Moreover, due to the limitations of data compression, hardware performance, network bandwidth and costs of current virtual reality platforms, the users need to gather in the same place and at a certain scheduled time in different phases, or download the virtual environment and avatar models from the server through the Internet, then host on the local computer. Cloud-based virtual reality technology is acknowledged as a powerful tool, which provides a communication platform for users. In this research, we contribute an example of a cloud-based virtual reality (Cloud based VR) integrated automatic presentation script (APS) for providing a broader way for users to participate and understand urban design concepts in the consensus process. We took One Foundation’s Disaster Prevention Park in China as a case study, and built a Cloud-based VR platform to propose design concepts, and create an APS for auxiliary guidance of users toward understanding the concepts of urban design and deliberate design alternatives in a design report meeting through the Internet. The application results show that the Cloud-based VR (integrated APS) platform proposed in this paper can not only simplify the discussion of design concepts without the limitation of space and time, but also can improve the efficiency of discussion around design alternatives to reach a consensus without any extra expense.
An increasing amount of attention worldwide has been diverted into using Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools and simulations via BIM models in the field of architecture. BIM modeling and the effective use of various types of numerical and quantitative simulation and analysis are used throughout architectural processes. Stakeholders of various parties can be better informed about projects and may offer their feedback in a more effective and rapid manner to foster better, but also speedy, decision-making, hence this type of technology is so important.In this paper, various types of software and solutions based on Information Modeling (IM) and Virtual Reality (VR) are utilized in the design of a company dormitory. Simulations via a BIM model are performed and a cloud-based 3D Virtual Reality is used for consensus building. This paper examines the detailed process of the project, the effectiveness of feedback on the design, and the process of reaching consensus. In addition to what has already been done or what is currently available, this paper also presents a summary of what will be offered in the future in terms of BIM modeling, environment simulation, and VR simulation, collectively.
By means of “going greener”, “getting smarter” and “converging smart-green”, an innovation-driven smart city could address the steps toward more sustainability and aim toward improved human well-being. A vertical greening means a vertical triumph of greenery in a high density urban area, in some ways it displays the level of smartness and greenness in a city. Researchers have suggested the use of vertical greening in urban areas to improve sustainability of the environment. However, conventional vertical greening is in open fields, unprotected, threatened by climate disasters, lacking in better controlled climate conditions and plant response-based circumstances. In addition are always the challenges of energy saving, reduction of CO2 emissions, reduction in water use and in pesticide use. A greenhouse system could instead solve different facets of these problems in conventional vertical greening to achieve an optimal balance between an efficient environmental control and efficient plant use of available resources. The greenhouse solution appears to be intellectually justifiable, adaptable and innovative, and appears beneficial to a smart-green and sustainable smart city. Through the literature review and foresighted design point of view, the paper first summarizes the major concepts and trends of smart cities, vertical greening usage and new greenhouse technologies, and approaches an introduction to the relationship and development between vertical greening and greenhouse systems, and is followed by a presentation of a proposed novel prototype of a green-energy, water-autonomous greenhouse system. The sophisticated and multi disciplinary greenhouse system reveals its innovations and advantages by using water resources and solar energy in a rational way, fit for an alternative technology approach towards sustainable smart-green vertical greening in smart cities. Aimed at improving responsiveness, efficiency and performance for environmental and resource sustainability, and also aimed at improving well-being, the system is expected to be a foresight with simplicity in evolutionary vertical greening. By means of Industry Foundation Classes file format, with a true BIM model consisting of a digital prototype of the physical elements, further design of the system will allow us to simulate an ideal greenhouse type of vertical greening and understand its behavior in both the computer environment and actual on-site construction, as well as allow the building of a smart-green point cloud with BIM workflow on any network in a smart city.
Supporting the evaluation of Beijing Urban Master Planning (2004-2020), a Beijing land-use and transportation integrated model is established on the basis of the transportation model of Beijing. The core improvement is the addition of a land use model and the interaction between the land use model and a transport model. Four sub models (location choice, rent, development and land price models) are contained in the land use model. The most important sub model is the location choice model. Commute accessibility, education, culture, environment and health care factors are selected to calibrate this model. The population distribution is sourced from the location choice model and the commute accessibility has been computed based on the transport model and input into the land use model.
In recent years, tourism’s commercial exploitation of China’s historical areas has been in full swing. However, the status quo of those historical sites is increasingly worrying due to their over-commercialization, the dissimilation of original lifestyles and, especially, the phenomenon of population displacement, with historical residents moving out and the non-native population flooding in, which directly gives rise to the loss of traditional culture. As per our investigation of Kulangsu, concerning its current population and culture situations, this paper aims to dig out the root cause of the population displacement, grasp the law and features of this phenomenon, analyze the significance and impacts it brings about and put forward optimization proposals for the sustainable development of Kulangsu Island.