Complexity Aided Design: The FuturICT Technological Innovation Paradigm

The European Physical Journal,  Special Topics, Published Online 05 December 2012

A. Carbone, M. Ajmone-Marsan, K.W. Axhausen, M. Batty, M. Masera, and E. Rome

“In the next century, planet earth will don an electronic skin. It will use the Internet as a scaffold to support and transmit its sensations. This skin is already being stitched together. It consists of millions of embedded electronic measuring devices: thermostats, pressure gauges, pollution detectors, cameras, microphones, glucose sensors, EKGs, electroencephalographs. These will probe and monitor cities and endangered species, the atmosphere, our ships, highways and fleets of trucks, our conversations, our bodies–even our dreams ….What will the earth’s new skin permit us to feel? How will we use its surges of sensation? For several years–maybe for a decade–there will be no central nervous system to manage this vast signaling network. Certainly there will be no central intelligence…some qualities of self-awareness will emerge once the Net is sensually enhanced. Sensuality is only one force pushing the Net toward intelligence”.”

Scheme of the interrelationship between the Exploratory of Technology and other FuturICT components.

Scheme of the interrelationship between the Exploratory of Technology and other FuturICT components.

“These statements are quoted by an interview by Cherry Murray, Dean of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Professor of Physics. It is interesting to outline the timeliness and highly predicting power of these statements. In particular, we would like to point to the relevance of the question “What will the earth’s new skin permit us to feel?” to the work we are going to discuss in this paper. There are many additional compelling questions, as for example: “How can the electronic earth’s skin be made more resilient?”; “How can the earth’s electronic skin be improved to better satisfy the need of our society?”;“What can the science of complex systems contribute to this endeavour?””

Bran Ferren to Keynote 2013 Geodesign Summit with “Five Minutes Into The Future: An argument for taking a longer view…”

Bran FerrenBran Ferren, designer, technologist, and Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Applied Minds LLC, will keynote the 2013 Geodesign Summit with a talk titled “Five Minutes Into The Future: An argument for taking a longer view…”

“We are living in a time of short attention spans, where discussions of critical global topics are often sustained by little more than a succession of sound bites, blog entries, and tweets. Consequently, it’s becoming harder and harder to have a thoughtful public dialog about complex topics, some with long-term implications to life itself. This talk will explore how Geodesign is becoming a new form of storytelling that can help illuminate the reality of many of these key issues, and to help us find our way.”

2013 Geodesign International Conference to be Held 28-29 October 2013 in Beijing, China

posterThe 2013 Geodesign International Conference will be held in October 28-29, 2013 in Beijing, China. This conference will be the joint effort of Peking University and Esri, building upon recent advances in the US and elsewhere.

Many internationally renowned researchers, such as Carl Steinitz, Stephen Ervin, Bill Miller, Mike Goodchild, Ian Bishop, Christophe Girot, Henk Scholten, Doug Olson, as well as many other geodesign-related professionals will be involved in the conference as keynote speakers or participants.

For more information, visit the 2013 Geodesign International Conference web site.

CyberCity 3D Launches New Buildings for Esri CityEngine

Esri logoCyberCity 3D introduces new data features for ArcGIS and CityEngine users, including customized 3D GIS Buildings for CityEngine

CyberCity 3D, Inc., an Esri partner, today announced the introduction of its new class of 3D GIS buildings optimized for integration into Esri CityEngine, a stand-alone software product that transforms 2D GIS data into smart 3D city models.

CyberCity 3D has streamlined that workflow process by seamlessly bringing its 3D buildings into the CityEngine platform, where they can be modified as needed. This results in accurate visualization of the modeled area, including a wide range of automated measurements such as line-of-site and building footprint locations. The buildings, up to six-inches accurate, also reveal complete roof details— including slope, solar azimuth, and surface area—invaluable to solar resource profiles and hydrodynamics. The Company’s 3D buildings can be created from aerial, oblique or satellite sources.

“Combining true GIS data with real-time visualization has always been somewhat elusive,” shared CyberCity CEO Kevin DeVito. “What we are doing is building a smaller, streamlined bridge between our 3D GIS buildings and CityEngine.”

Deploying this new frontier of 3D GIS and GeoDesign gives government entities the opportunity to visually communicate with stakeholders and the public more effectively. These precise, state-of–the-art, smart 3D city models lend themselves to applications including city and campus planning, police and fire, utilities, green data, solar, and water runoff statistics.

“The utilization of CyberCity 3D GIS buildings greatly improves the workflow in CityEngine. The accurate building measurement features enhance the GIS elements, making the transition from 2D GIS to 3D GIS nearly seamless,” stated Geoff Taylor, 3D Solutions Engineer at Esri CityEngine.

[Source: Esri press release]

Transform 2D Data into 3D City Models Faster with Esri CityEngine 2012

New Version Includes 3D Web Viewer for Expanded Sharing Capabilities

Esri CityEngine 2012, the latest version of Esri’s software to create smart 3D city models, is now available. Esri improved CityEngine with a new graphic user interface and refined workflow designed to speed transformation of 2D GIS data into smart 3D cities. In addition, 3D city scenes can be shared directly through custom URLs, in ArcGIS Online, or on web servers of private organizations.

CityEngine 2012

CityEngine 2012

Easy-to-use editing tools are now integrated into the CityEngine interface, providing more immediate visual feedback. Esri also simplified the workflow for creating 3D city scenes. From starting with a 2D building footprint to being fully finished, creating highly detailed 3D city scenes now only takes five steps.

“For CityEngine 2012, we focused on improving the key workflows in GIS, urban planning, and entertainment production,” says Pascal Mueller, director of Esri R&D Center Zurich. “We developed new tools for the 3D editing of buildings, introduced 3D zoning techniques for better urban design, and made CityEngine fully compatible with ArcGIS.”

Sharing 3D city models is also easier than ever via the new CityEngine 3D Web Viewer. Three-dimensional models can now be exported as URLs that display in a browser-based viewer. This greatly expands CityEngine sharing capability because scenes can be opened independent of CityEngine on any Internet-accessible device.

“Smart cities of the future will be designed more transparently, and the design process will engage citizens,” says Esri president Jack Dangermond. “With CityEngine 2012, smart city scenes can be published directly on ArcGIS Online for sharing new developments, design proposals, and before-and-after-comparisons with nontechnical decision makers and the public.”

CityEngine is available for the Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms in Basic and Advanced versions. CityEngine Advanced is available with single or concurrent use licensing and comes with all features, including Python and advanced import/export format support.

For more information and a free 30-day trial with full export capabilities, visit esri.com/CityEngine.

[Source: Esri press release]

Geodesign Summit Asks Attendees to Reimagine Their World

Esri logoHands-on Experience and Collaboration Will Fuel This Year’s Event

GIS and design professionals, academics, and developers will gather at Esri headquarters in Redlands, California, January 24–25, 2013, for the fourth annual Geodesign Summit. The event is open to anyone working at the intersection of geography and design. This year’s theme, Reimagine Your World, underscores how attendees can use geodesign to realize the best possible outcomes for both their projects and the planet.

“This year we’re doing something a little different: we’re giving attendees the chance to get hands-on experience working with the tools they’ve just seen presented. They can also explore solutions to some of the real-life project workflow issues they encounter every day,” said Shannon McElvaney, global industry manager of community development at Esri. “No matter what your position—manager, academic, or analyst—you will find value in these sessions.”

Attendees will have ample opportunity to participate, collaborate, and network with others in and across disciplines, helping to build the community of geodesign practitioners. Featured speakers, Lightning Talks, and enabling technology demonstrations will round out the summit.

One of the featured speakers is Frederick Steiner, dean of the University of Texas, Austin, School of Architecture. Steiner has worked with local, state, and federal agencies on diverse environmental plans and designs. His most recent books are Urban Ecological Design: A Process for Regenerative Places (coauthored with Danilo Palazzo) and Design for a Vulnerable Planet. His presentation, “Bushwick, You’re Beautiful,” describes how design can elevate our understanding of relationships in our surroundings and enable us to adapt to change accordingly.

For more information and to register, visit geodesignsummit.com.

[Source: Esri press release]

Carl Steinitz Explains Geodesign Process in New Esri Press Book

Dr. Carl Steinitz

Dr. Carl Steinitz

A Framework for Geodesign: Changing Geography by Design, published by Esri Press, details the procedures that pioneer landscape architect and planner Carl Steinitz developed for the implementation of geodesign in the planning process.

Geodesign is a methodology that provides a design framework and supporting technology to leverage geographic information, resulting in designs that more closely follow natural systems.

Describing A Framework for Geodesign, author Steinitz says, “This book should be seen as a discussion with examples, intended to illustrate the issues and choices involved in the organization and management of large and complex geodesign studies and projects.”

Steinitz’ framework is shaped by a set of six key questions he developed while analyzing and refining the geodesign process:

  • How should the study area be described?
  • How does the study area function?
  • Is the current study area working well?
  • How might the study area be altered?
  • What difference might the changes cause?
  • How should the study area be changed?
A Framework for Geodesign: Changing Geography by Design

A Framework for Geodesign: Changing Geography by Design

“Geodesign is a vision for using geographic knowledge to actively and thoughtfully design,” says Jack Dangermond, Esri president. “It will link and build the next generation of both geography and design. What Carl’s book does so powerfully is find the common ground between the science of geography and the methods of design. Its publication marks a milestone in the evolution of geodesign, and it will be used for many generations as a framework for creating our common future.”

Carl Steinitz is the Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Landscape Architecture and Planning, Emeritus, at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. For more information about Steinitz and his work, read “A Conversation with Carl Steinitz” by Carla Wheeler in the April 2012 issue of ArcWatch. Steinitz will be available to autograph his book at the Esri International User Conference on Tuesday, July 24, between noon and 1:30 p.m. in the Spatial Outlet.

A Framework for Geodesign: Changing Geography by Design (ISBN: 978-1-58948-333-0, 224 pages, US$79.95) is available at online retailers worldwide, at esri.com/esripress, or by calling 1-800-447-9778. Outside the United States, visit esri.com/esripressorders for complete ordering options, or visit esri.com/distributors to contact your local Esri distributor. Interested retailers can contact Esri Press book distributor Ingram Publisher Services.

[Source: Esri press release]

New Book Details Benefits of Geodesign in Planning

Geodesign: Case Studies in Regional and Urban PlanningGeodesign: Case Studies in Regional and Urban Planning, a new book from Esri, is an important addition to the growing body of knowledge contributing to our understanding of the geodesign process.

“Geodesign provides a new way of thinking that integrates science and analysis into the design process,” says author Shannon McElvaney, project manager at Esri. “It gives designers robust tools that support the rapid evaluation of different designs and visualization of the probable impacts of those design alternatives. Ultimately, the geodesign process helps us move from designing around nature to designing with it.”

Geodesign: Case Studies in Regional and Urban Planning presents case studies from around the world that exemplify the key steps, processes, and technologies crucial to geodesign. The book illustrates the burgeoning need today for simulating the impact of design decisions in near real time, enabling decision makers to meet or exceed goals of sustainability, regulatory compliance, cost reduction, or social equity. The book will be of particular interest to urban planners, geographers, and landscape architecture faculty and students.

Geodesign: Case Studies in Regional and Urban Planning (ISBN: 978-1-58948-316-3, 160 pages, US$19.95) is available at online retailers worldwide, at esri.com/esripress, or by calling 1-800-447-9778. Outside the United States, visit esri.com/esripressorders for complete ordering options, or visit esri.com/distributors to contact your local Esri distributor. Interested retailers can contact Esri Press book distributor Ingram Publisher Services.

[Source: Esri press release]

Esri Promotes Environmental Geodesign at Rio+20

GIS Framework Featured as a Sustainable Development Tool at International Conference

By special invitation from the European Environment Agency (EEA), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the US Department of State, Esri will take part in several important side events at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). The conference will be held June 20–22 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Esri will use this opportunity to explain and promote the concept of geodesign, a design framework and the supporting technology for designing more sustainable cities.

“Providing solutions that support sustainable development has been at the forefront of Esri software development,” said Esri president Jack Dangermond. “We are honored to be recognized as a key technology provider by these agencies and pleased to be supporting them with a framework for decision making.”

At Rio+20, world leaders will write a focused political document renewing their commitment to sustainable development. In the days before this conference, thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, civil society, and intergovernmental organizations will attend side events and sessions to learn about sustainable themes and technologies.

During this time, a team from Esri will present the value of GIS for making place-based decisions. At the EEA side event, Esri’s global affairs team lead, Carmelle Terborgh, PhD, will provide examples showing how the information technology industry is ensuring increased access to information for all.

Terborgh will join representatives of the USDA, the US Department of State, and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to present My Community, Our Earth (MyCOE). This partnership program encourages and supports geographic learning for sustainable development. In addition, the Esri team will show Change Matters, a web mapping service that follows US government open data sharing policies. Esri will also demonstrate its cloud-based mapping service ArcGIS Online at the US Center pavilion demonstration alley.

[Source: Esri press release]

“A Framework for GeoDesign” – Carl Steinitz’s Preconference Seminar at the 2012 Esri UC

Dr. Carl Steinitz

Dr. Carl Steinitz

Dr. Carl Steinitz will be offering a preconference seminar on geodesign at the 2012 Esri User Conference:

“Dr. Steinitz provides an in-depth overview of GeoDesign processes, looking at both rural and urban environments. He describes a framework for doing GeoDesign (design in geographic space) using six model types for assessing the geographic context, for proposing changes and for evaluating the consequences of those changes. He then shows how this framework and these models can be used to understand, plan and manage a variety of landuse/management projects. He presents nine different strategies for proposing change and shows how they can be applied to different problem types at different scales, discussing the pros and cons of each in different situations. The seminar provides the participants with the equivalent of a graduate level seminar on GeoDesign.”

This seminar will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, 21 July 2012 in San Diego, California