In recent years, tools and frameworks have become prominent components in the measurement of existing and future urban conditions, and tools that effectively educate the diverse group of stakeholders involved in planning will elevate the needed policy changes to align future development with emissions reductions goals. IDEASS has been exploring collaborative and visualization components for decision-support systems, researching the integration of multiple displays and the benefits of various form factors (multi-touch tabletop, large wall display, or personal hand-held display).
Collaborating with the City of Vancouver (Marpole and Grandview Woodland Community Plans) and City of Richmond (energy and emissions policy simulations for the Richmond City Centre plan), Ronald Kellett has led development of prototype collaboration and decision support tools, including:
- an urban form database (elementsdb) and a related multi-touch table
- a multi-display interface for small group urban design collaboration
- a related application of CityEngine, a parametric urban form modeling and analysis software
The CIRS decision theatre infrastructure (multiple displays, computer-controlled cameras and microphones, and a variety of handheld devices to support interaction) was used to test a number of scenarios using the proof-of-concept prototypes. IDEASS is examining the feasibility of using classroom “clickers” for large groups engaged in voting and preference solicitation activities.
- Co-Investigator Dr. Kellogg Booth has focused on collaboration technology, especially the role of shared multi-touch tabletop displays and large wall displays within the research. With MSc student Tao Su (who continues his involvement in the project after completing his degree) he participated in the development of the second-generation of a collaboration application for exploring urban plans that runs on a variety of tabletop architectures and which provides support for custom-built “widgets” that compute metrics based on the designs and display them in meaningful ways on the tabletop and also on auxiliary wall displays.
- Summer BSc student Muhammad Yasir Dewji extended the capabilities of the widgets working with research associate Michael van der Laan. He and Ronald Kellett worked with a team of master’s students from the Masters of Digital Media program who developed a simulation that summarizes the goals of the research and illustrates some of the methodology that is being developed.
- On-going work with MSc students Junhao Shi and Peter Beshai is examining the use of “clickers” (classroom personal response devices) to engage large groups of stakeholders in decision making and exploration exercises.
Guenther, J., Sheldon, T., and Senbel, M. “Public Decision Making, Land-use design and Visualization tools”. Paper presented at annual Canadian Institute of Planners Conference in Banff, Alberta, October 2012.
van der Laan, M., Kellett R., Senbel, M., Girling, C., Su, T., Booth, K. (2013) A Collaborative Multi-touch, Multi-Display, Urban Futures Tool. Simulation in Architecture and Urban Design.
Ronald Kellett, Kellogg Booth, Narges Mahyar, “Collaboration Technology for Stakeholder Engagement in Urban Planning”, Information Technology and City Life Workshop, CSCW 2015, March 14-16, 2015.