An Evaluation of 3D Building Modelling and Visualisation packages for Enhancing Public Participation within the Planning Process

  • Emma Mantle

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This thesis will look at the importance of 3D Visualization within the planning process and addresses the issue of improving public participation within urban regeneration. The main aim of this research is therefore to discover what type of model the public require in terms of understanding future developments, which may in turn help them engage in the planning process.

    In order to achieve the main aim several other aims need to be established, such as; identifying the capacity of the profession in Wales to deliver 3D models of urban environments, evaluating software solutions to create 3D models of urban environments, and to explore emerging techniques that might contribute to the efficiency and economy of producing models of urban environments.

    These aims were realised through conducting surveys which targeted the Building Design Profession (BDP) and established which software packages were being used and for what purpose. A second survey was also conducted by means of an
    exhibition, which aimed to establish what the public require in regards to being presented with proposed developments.

    Other aims were realized through conducting trials. These examined the usability of different 3D CAD packages and the possibility of integrating CAD data with GIS, and how it could be used to quicken the modeling process. Results from these trials showed that through the use of workarounds there are possibilities of integrating CAD and GIS data.

    The research reported here indicates that members of the public have trouble understanding 2D Plans and Elevations and the data consistently demonstrates that more than 40% of participants chose 3D technology as a more understandable method of being shown future developments.

    The results from the two surveys show that although the majority (42.4%) of participants selected 3D technology as their preferred option, only 28% of participating Building Design Professionals in Wales use 3D computer packages, albeit not for presenting propose urban regeneration projects to the public.

    From the outset of this research the purpose has been to evaluate whether public participation will be increased if 3D technologies are provided to showcase proposed developments. The more efficient the modelling process, the more feasible and likely it will be that 3D CAD will one day be a paramount tool within the Planning Process. Numerous techniques were included to examine this efficiency.
    Date of Award2007
    Original languageEnglish


    • Three-dimensional imaging Planning

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