INSIDE IOWA STATE
February 9, 2001
ISU team to develop city planning tool for Beijing
by Steve Sullivan
The College of Design has received a $120,000 grant from the National
Science Foundation for a project that will lead to a virtual reality tool
for city planning.
The project will focus on the historic capital city of Beijing, China, but
could lead to a tool applicable to any city in the world. Iowa State
researchers will work with colleagues at the Beijing Polytechnic University
(BPU) and officials with the Beijing City Planning and Administration
Bureau. The Des Moines community development department will evaluate the
tool during its stages of development.
The goal of the project is to develop an interactive visualization tool to
help city planners manage urban growth and designers explore planning codes.
The tool will be developed in Iowa State's Virtual Reality Applications
Center. The project will involve converting city planning codes into
computer codes, creating a virtual city and embedding the codes into the
virtual city. It also will create a system in which a user will be able to
enter the virtual city and do such things as select a property lot, input
data and alter surroundings to see the potential impact of planning
Beijing was chosen because it faces social, environmental and planning
issues related to modernization. Also, BPU and Beijing planning officials
have funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China to
develop an urban plan for Beijing.
This spring, the Iowa State research team, including a student, will visit
Beijing to study the city and collect data. The first stage of the project
will focus on central Beijing, including the Forbidden City.
The Iowa State team includes Chiu-Shui Chan, architecture and principal
investigator; Carolina Cruz-Neira, electrical and computer engineering; Riad
Mahayni, community and regional planning; Duane Shinn, community and
regional planning; and I-Shian Suen, community and regional
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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