Data-Driven Urban Design


This ongoing project explores ways to inform the design process by creating tools to directly interact with open city data, thus aiming to propose an alternative design approach. The rapid growth of cities and the subsequent increase of their urban density to accommodate incoming population is creating complex systems that depend, more than ever, from information-driven technologies. Although a large body of work has been focusing on the analysis of the city-generated data, there is still a disconnection in between design and informational tools used in the practice of Urban Design. Consequently, this project proposes to integrate a methodology into the design workflow that could inform with open data the ‘drawing boards’ of the architecture team involved in an urban project.

The proposed process has been dissected in three main efforts: data gathering, parametric modeling and visualization. The data used in a project depends on specific goals and needs; however, the project has focused on data that would drive usual design decisions in the place of the analysis such as building three-dimensional information for visual-reach studies, public transportation networks for transit capacities or wayfinding tools for walking permeability. With the idea of being assessed and compared, the proposal makes use of Grasshopper to build a three-dimensional model of the area of study integrating the collected data. Therefore, this allows to test and simulate different scenarios in reaction to design proposals. Lastly, the project is pursuing different data visualization forms with the aim to create a comprehensive language for the comparison of several data sets simultaneously.

To conclude, this project ambitions to challenge the traditional methods of Urban Design process by transforming it into a more data-informed discipline. Therefore, this methodology could help the team involved in the change of the urban environment with a set of customized data-driven design tools to target the specific needs of the project.