We are thrilled that with ArcGIS Urban we are able to verify different urban design scenarios at multiple stages of the planning process by taking advantage of the accuracy of different levels of details.
When the PAV’s project manager Fabien Pignoly first evaluated ArcGIS Urban, his greatest interest was in a solution to visualize the complex planning phases over this large area – both for stakeholders and citizens. By utilizing the scenario switching in ArcGIS Urban, he was able to create this kind of visualization for the neighborhood ‘Acacias-Etoile’. In these neighborhoods, residential use will dominate, and large open spaces will be created. Already before using ArcGIS Urban, the urban planners sketched out different scenarios for a redevelopment in phases. These scenarios were published to ArcGIS Online and could then be simply attached to the corresponding project scenarios in Urban. The scenario switch made it very easy and intuitive to compare different phases and shows how the project will develop over time.
ArcGIS Urban was also used by the canton of Geneva to create new design scenarios based on an overall guiding image. In the case of the neighborhood named Grosselin, the main challenge was in facilitating the participation from multiple agencies and community groups in the vision for the area. This area is in the territory of the city of Carouge, so planning can be coordinated with communal services, facilitating a dialogue between authorities.
Getting up and running
Geneva’s geomatics engineer and GIS expert Andréas Stussi loaded the future zoning codes and new parcel geometries into the Urban Database through ArcGIS Pro. New building types were created that matched the city’s architectural character and style. The urban designers were then able to generate and compare scenarios while calculating capacity indicators based on the plausible buildings created in Urban.
Geneva was able to use ArcGIS Urban to present the implementation of their urban planning workflows. At the same time, they provided valuable feedback to the ArcGIS Urban development team. The insights from the urban planners and geomatics engineers of Geneva have led to a better user experience and the creation of additional functionality in the application, like supporting existing values in the calculation of the capacity indicators. The cooperation between the canton of Geneva, the Esri R&D Center Zurich and Esri Switzerland has shown that useful functionality in a tool can only be achieved by fully understanding the end-user’s needs. ArcGIS Urban improves existing city planning workflows without the additional large overhead of data preparation and customization.
The first version of ArcGIS Urban was released in July 2019 and the canton of Geneva was one of around 25 early adopters who participated in the development of ArcGIS Urban before its release.