New tools and new technologies are transforming the way we go about urban development in Australia. In this video, some of JBA’s design team talk about the new normal and how technology is helping us iterate, illuminate and communicate. Article by Vishal Lakhia, Lesley Bull, Kelly van der Zanden, Ben Craig, Michael Oliver.
Vishal Lakhia, Urban Designer
The first thing we do is, we do a 3D model of the terrain, of the contours, of the topography. That’s where we start, and then second, we model the buildings around a particular site. Then we go into a detail of where the windows would be on those existing buildings, what’s the shape of the roof.
Once we start working on our site, we already have this existing framework of what’s there. Then we start putting various design options on our site.
Lesley Bull, Director
These days, you are able to layer up information very quickly. And using aerial photography and data layers, be able to produce a picture of the capabilities of a site. It’s the accuracy and speed of being able to work out development footprints, being able to analyse the capability of land, which goes to the question of evidence‑based planning.
Accurate information, readily available, quickly manipulated. Show that to people way before you get to the point of looking at a development proposal itself.
Kelly van der Zanden, Senior Urban Designer
3D visualization, in particular, interactive real‑time technologies, are coming to the forefront in helping us communicate and tell the story to the people about how a future place will be. Having that technology accessible and available to us, as designers and planners, is helping us, not only deliver a message, but engage people in the process.
Ben Craig, Principal Planner
The 3D benefit is that, once again, it’s all about speed. It’s all about access to information. You can really appreciate a 3D model in a far more detailed way than you can appreciate it when it’s in plan form. The community doesn’t have the ability to understand plans a lot of the time, but when you can see a picture up there that’s 3D, you can very easily decipher what’s going on at a site.
When you have that combined with the expert knowledge that someone that JBA brings, it’s far more effective at engaging a community.
Michael Oliver, Senior Planner
Planners often come to a project with change in mind. But often don’t get the chance to explain to the community why we got to that stage, and what the drivers behind that change in growth are.
Having that information readily available, and able to be communicated in a simple format is really good for engaging with stakeholders, and being able to sell, not just the how and the what, but the why.