Oct.15, 2012

What will our city look like in 2040? Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville launched a 25-year vision initiative "Vision Louisville". "One of my five strategic goals for our city is to create a vibrant vision for Louisville's future. All great cities, from Paris to New York, have developed visions and then worked to implement them." Fischer said in a statement. ""This project will allow us to imagine the Louisville of the future — our parks, our arts, neighborhoods and public transit."

As part of Fischer's new planning initiative, the city obtained 3D digital files of buildings throughout the city with the help of architecture students and designs in Google's SketchUp modeling program. Using five 3D printers donated by citizen and the help from LVL1 hackerspace in Louisville the city created 1/1000 scaled-down replicas of the buildings.

(Photo courtesy of the office of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer)

The 3D models were showed at city's annual Ideas Festival in September, 2012. The idea was to let people use these models to share ideas about the city.

The 3D printers were set up so the public could share ideas about the model and adjust the layout of the buildings to determine how alternate designs would look, said Tommy Clark, an urban planner for the city. Government Technology reported.

Using 3-D modeling gives a better visualization than drawing a map or other 2-D methods, Clark said. During Ideas Festival, citizens were able to move the building replicas around to get a better sense of how the city would look if buildings are removed or added.

"If you want to take the largest building in Louisville and remove it and put something else in there, and look at the 3D elements maybe another building may do — you get a whole new perspective when it's in 3D," Clark said.

"It's hard to envision how you'd change things and make a space feel and operate differently," says Patti Clare, project manager for the initiative. "The 3D printers are a really good tool to let people see how space changes and influences how a city works."

The city will collect proposals through Ideas Festival, the Vision Louisville website, and the initiative's Twitter feed.

"We've got to engage not only the people who think about this everyday but somebody who might be thinking about it for the first time," says Fischer to Atlantic. "So-called experts frequently are so close to the problem that they can't see the solution. … I want to hit every perspective we have: from rich to poor, to every color and every ethnicity, to refugees and PhDs — everybody."


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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