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Geodesign for a Sustainable Europe

The European Geodesign Summit will be held at the GeoFort in the Netherlands.
The European Geodesign Summit will be held at the GeoFort in the Netherlands.

With the rush to urbanize, how can historic landscapes and archaeological features be preserved to maintain a sense of place? How does society plan for an ever-increasing population while maintaining open space, rural character, and economic vitality? How do communities take full advantage of improvements in technology to design or retrofit spaces and create smart, sustainable cities of the future?

These are some of the questions that will be examined at Geodesign Summit Europe, which will be held in September on an ancient fortress island in the Netherlands.

Inspired by the annual Geodesign Summit at Esri in Redlands, California, this two-day event at the GeoFort in Herwijnen will bring together an international group of scholars and practitioners from urban planning, landscape design, and the geospatial sciences to answer an overarching question: How can geodesign help create a sustainable Europe?

Geodesign workshops and presentations will be offered at this historic complex.
Geodesign workshops and presentations will be offered at this historic complex.

What Is Geodesign?

Geodesign is an iterative planning and design method. It combines input from stakeholders with geospatial modeling, impact simulations, and real-time feedback to help them create holistic designs and make smarter decisions.

Geodesign Summit Europe will cover the latest developments in geospatial, sketching, and 3D technologies and geodesign best practices, giving you the opportunity to learn about tools and techniques that you can immediately apply in your own work.

Discussion topics will include participatory design and planning, value-based analytics to support urban and rural sustainability, and new 3D visualization and analytical tools to help guide smart, culturally sensitive design and much more.

Several of the workshops planned will be 3D Data Modeling with OGC Standard CityGML, Procedural Modeling and Geodesign Using Esri CityEngine and ArcGIS, and To 3D or Not to 3D: Data versus Information versus Visualization.

Carl Steinitz, author of A Framework for Geodesign, will be one of many guest speakers.
Carl Steinitz, author of A Framework for Geodesign, will be one of many guest speakers.

The lineup of speakers will include the following:

Participants also are presenting papers. The 20 best papers presented at the summit will be included in a scientific book that Springer Publishers plans to release in 2014.

Visiting the GeoFort

The venue will be one of the most unique aspects of attending the summit. The GeoFort is an exciting educational attraction built on the site of an old fort, which was part of a defense system known as the Dutch Waterline. This historic complex, complete with a water-filled moat and an intriguing combination of buildings from bygone eras, bunkers, and exciting outdoor areas, inspires and entertains.

The Geodesign Summit Europe will provide an excellent opportunity to learn about geospatial technologies and best practices. “You and I are living in a world where we’re going to have to move away from simply conserving places toward proactively creating healthy, sustainable places. And this is what geodesign is all about,” says Esri president Jack Dangermond, a longtime advocate of geodesign.

About the author

Shannon McElvaney

Shannon McElvaney is the director of geodesign at Jacobs, which provides advanced planning design strategies and services. He focuses on broadening the use of geodesign in the planning and design of smart, sustainable, and resilient communities. McElvaney also is the chief geospatial officer at Whole Infrastructure Systems for Resilient Development (WISRD) and an adjunct professor of geodesign at Penn State University. Follow him on Twitter at @geozenn.

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