Traffic Control and CO2 Reduction: Utilisation of Virtual Modelling within University Estates Master Planning

Traffic Control and CO2 Reduction: Utilisation of Virtual Modelling within University Estates Master Planning

Richard Laing (Scott Sutherland School, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK), Amar Bennadji (Scott Sutherland School, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK) and David Gray (Institute for Management Governance & Society, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/ijepr.2013010103
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Abstract

The aim of the research described in this article was to explore the use of intelligent virtual transport modelling, within the context of a case study involving the development of a University estate. Through the application of visualisation techniques, the study was able to explore how such techniques can lead to enlightenment of potential solutions, whilst simultaneously demonstrating the effects of design solutions on CO2 emissions. The research used UC-win/Road software to support the visualisation component. The software supports the integration of road planning within urban settings and enables the creation of walkthrough visualisations, useful in communication with non-specialist end users. Outcomes of the research included an animation to assist planners in the consideration of travel time, distance and staff experience. Vitally, though, this is intrinsically connected with a study of how one can ensure that visual elements of a design process are undertaken to support complex technical, social and environmental decision making. The work is placed within a consideration of participation in the planning and design of sustainable transport approaches in urban areas, and the approach described should be viewed within this context.
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Context

Through actions of the EU and its constituent countries, towns and cities across Europe are beginning to address the challenges posed by climate change. The complexity of urban areas means that particular challenges are posed by the needs of residents including energy use in buildings, management of resources and transportation. Whilst it is certainly true that many of the challenges could be met through behavioural change on the part of individuals, it is also true that an integrated approach to planning is required to ensure that individuals are suitably empowered and able to act. The EU has instigated a range of mechanisms through which change can be planned, facilitated and implemented, including the relatively recent development of the Smart Cities programme (http://eu-smartcities.eu/). Such programmes recognise that technology must be introduced in such a way that it helps to support change, but cannot be regarded as a solution in itself. Within a context of participatory design, the starting point for this research was that urban development will continue to have a significant effect on the carbon footprint of cities, but that a potentially significant part of that impact (i.e. mass transportation) can be mitigated through visualisation of options in a manner which encourages engagement, and refinement of designs.

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