URBAN MODELLING AND VISUALIZATION TOOLS FOR URBAN TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS – EXAMPLES FROM TWO LIVING-LAB PROJECTS IN GOTHENBURG.
Paper in proceedings, 2016
Purpose: Within transport projects there is a growing demand for urban modelling and advanced visualization methods. This paper reflects upon visualizations techniques used in two transdisciplinary projects studying implementation of transport solutions in Gothenburg. Involvement of many stakeholders and efficient dialogue tools were essential to support communication in the transdisciplinary environment. Sendsmart and Go:Smart projects (2012-2014) aimed at developing and testing innovative sustainable solutions for urban transportation with a focus on freight (Sendsmart) and passenger transport (Go:Smart). They were developed as an important municipal attempt to create better conditions for sustainable urban travel in the city. Research Approach: Both projects turned out to become a living laboratory for visualization implementation and engaged groups of key stakeholders from the academia, industry, city of Gothenburg, and the regional and national organizations. These practice-oriented projects were focused on development of new solutions and testing them in reality. This study presents reflections from a research-by-design process and available rich, documented material from the projects (meeting notes, workshop notes, monthly reports, films). Even if, SendSmart nor GoSmart were not part of municipal planning process, they were focused on early implementation phase of new approaches in the city transport planning. Integration of users was essential and the user perspective was the only one brought into research discourse.
Findings and Originality: In both projects methods and tools were developed in forms of demo visualizations and films, simulation models - scenario development and evaluation (decision support systems: Urban Strategy combined with Visum), image supported discussions (Urbania) maps and 2D visualizations as a basis for discussion. These tools are perceived as extremely helpful to support communication in the complex environments and were very useful as an input to the workshops. However, an iterative procedure would have been needed to further let the participants’ opinions and suggestions lead to new visualized concepts. A need to simulate both in macro and micro scale was recognized. Challenges to further deal with are lack of detailed data for traffic simulation in advanced models, problems with different source data aggregation and a high demand for specifically qualified expertise in building simulation models. It is beneficial to put efforts into developing an integrated model for freight and passenger transport within transdisciplinary projects. Research Impact: This paper underlines the necessity for a critical collaborative exchange and research needs to be fostered and disseminated in order to enhance and promote the usable knowledge and application of visualization methods and technologies. Their potential in addressing critical transportation issues of today, as well as promoting innovative approaches to meet society’s transportation needs of the future often requires a discussion within a broader, multidisciplinary context of technology development in the areas of simulation and modelling
Practical impact: Paper addresses the importance of using visualization for communication in transportation projects.
sustainable urban mobility