Sam Lavery – Project 3 Proposal

by sam @ 8:16 pm 21 February 2012

For this project I really want to produce something that is both beautiful and interesting. My interest in urban planning and design has exposed me a little to the fairly novel field of parametric urban design. I’m definitely not sold on the idea that a computer (or a person for that matter) can centrally plan a successful city, but the technology available creates some interesting opportunities for experimentation.

My current plan is to use ESRI CityEngine to model several different versions of Pittsburgh, changing the appearance of the city by applying rules from the most famous and infamous urban design theories. I am imagining now that there will be a dense, low-rise, small-block a-la-Jane-Jacobson city, a city composed of superblocks, towering modern buildings, and vast expanses of grass and parking lots, and perhaps some kind of future or alien looking city.

I have a shapefile of Pittsburgh’s topography that I will use as a base for my 3D models. From there I will write logic that will dictate how the streets are laid out and how the resulting lots are filled. Unfortunately, CityEngine is a VERY expensive program and the trial version won’t export the model to any file type that I could use to make nice renderings. Hopefully I can find someone with a full version of the program or some other method…

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