July 25 2013

Advancing Sustainable Urban Planning at the Esri 2013 Conference

I recently attended the 2013 Esri International User Conference with over 15,000 others in San Diego interested in Geographic Information Science or Systems (GIS). Focused on GIS to enable sustainable urban planning, I found that CityEngine launched upgrades with V10.2, simplifying the conversion of 2D imaging into 3D with just five steps, for preview of modelling rules created to return data, such as solar surface exposure and heating, for various types of analysis.

A slide bar, returns various operators on those specified conditions, such as indoor and outdoor specs to visualize before and after screens of various rule set combinations.

A slide bar, returns various operators on specified conditions to visualize screens of differing rule set combinations, such as indoor and outdoor specs.

Trimble, a provider of GIS hardware and software apps rolled out solutions for water and waste-water utility features and local government solutions for crowd sourcing data to facilitate participatory planning on a cloud based platform. CityWorks stood out as the GIS solution for asset data management through the spatial organization of codes, inspections, monitoring, maintenance, operations, and more. Important development issues, such as climate change, were also apparent in the technology of the SimCLIM integration of ArcGIS/Marine with ArcGIS/Climate software, for more inclusive climate change modeling to better prepare cities for adaptation. Climate Change was also the focus of numerous projects by organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, Green Belt Movement and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and research centers supported by Planet Action GIS Services.

InVEST uses spatial analysis to provide an integrated valuation of environmental services and tradeoffs, representing the use of GIS tools in the spirit of sustainability.

land-use planning scenarios using inVEST modelling

GIS analysis of land-use planning scenarios using inVEST modelling of ecosystem service tradeoffs in Oahu, Hawaii to project financial return, carbon storage and water quality using baseline and enhanced ecosystem services.

Also supporting sustainability, the California Natural Resource Database and NatureServe, each featuring comprehensive geo-referenced natural resource databases, catalog hundreds of thousands of plants, animals, and ecosystems. Considering the interaction between the cities and the natural environments they grow from, facilitate biodiversity health. Whether through locating green space, recreation or ecosystem service optimization, environmental ranking and characterization of natural features and resources aid in decision making and land use planning. Ultimately, geography is a dominant characteristic for planning in any environment and GIS provides that technological foundation.

As planners, in what ways are you using GIS? As city residents, what geographic features are you most interested in sustaining… civil, historic or natural?

 Credits: Images by Esri CityEngine and inVEST. Data linked to sources.

Gina Kiani

Gina Kiani is a Graduate student at the University of Southern California and will complete a Master of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology in the Fall of 2014. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of California Berkeley in Conservation and Resource Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Urban Environments. The primary direction of her objectives and pursuits focus on the use of Geographic Information Science (GIS) to facilitate Sustainable Urban Planning. Her interest in GIS concerns how spatial analysis can provide an over-arching context to many of the themes that are relevant to the interpretation of data and information required in efficient decision-making and modeling. With indisputable evidence of anthropogenic induced climate change, she hopes to utilize GIS in areas such as change detection of atmospheric composition and water levels, epidemic outbreaks, deforestation, reforestation, energy and food production etc., to contribute to the continual characterization, monitoring and evaluation of natural resources for sustainability purposes. Her skill-set includes dissecting and performing the critical components of a site suitability analysis, sustainability inventory, spatial analysis, field techniques for GIST, programming and customization, spatial database management, research and dissemination. Her final year of study will include project management and her thesis in GIS for Sustainable Urban Planning. As the Oakland and Berkeley California correspondent for Global Site Plans, she hopes to remain current on relevant development issues and discover emerging GIS strategies while advocating for sustainable planning.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, July 25th, 2013 at 9:08 am and is filed under Education and Careers, Engineering, Environment, Environmental Design, Land Use, Landscape Architecture, Social/Demographics, Technology, Transportation, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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