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3-D Street Smarts ! - 4/11/2005 6:43:46 PM   

Posts: 12103
Joined: 7/4/2003
From: Melbourne, Victoria, AUS
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Imagine a computer game - let's call it Urban Design - in which the background graphics look familiar. Instead of the usual Gotham City/Metropolis/LA look, there's something that looks suspiciously like a main street in Sydney's west, or Melbourne's Bourke Street Mall.

Navigate carefully enough and you may even come across your own house.

This hypothetical game is now becoming reality.

Across Australia, companies such as SIMmersion and Urban Futures Consulting are designing urban simulation models that try to match the magic of computer game graphics with the mundane reality of Australian cityscapes.

The results may not excite games enthusiasts, but councils, developers and planning authorities are taking keen interest.

"There's sort of a generational thing where everybody under 25 or 30 has been playing computer games and is really aware that this sort of visualisation is very easy to do now," says Stephen Axford, a director of the Melbourne-based Urban Futures Consulting (UFC).

"The demand is coming from developers who would like to convince councils and the community (of their project's merit); there's councils such as Manningham who see it as an ideal way to carry out consultation."

The models can be stored on a DVD and viewed on a laptop, but in a widescreen demonstration at UFC's Carlton headquarters, we flew like a bird - albeit more slowly - across and through Melbourne and Parramatta.

Along Church Street, Parramatta, we looked at proposed buildings from above, on the ground and in between. What's the view like from the 10th floor? Will that planned office tower block the view from the park? Let's go see.
Full story...

Source : SMH AU

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