Taskforce for Increasing Residential in the Downtown:  3D Modeling
May 12, 2004; no new models called for at this point.

Models:  General Comments.

Models:  Particular Comments Models:  Calibration Models:  Alignment Models:  Education
These models, of downtown Ann Arbor in particular, have been emerging over the past two years.  3D modeling as an urban planning tool is relatively new; a number of west coast cities have successfully employed various aspects of it.  There are links to existing studies in various locations on this website.  There has been considerable opportunity for a variety of folks to study them during that period.  As human nature has it, though, that sort of in-depth study that would best occur over a long period of time appears not to happen--reaction takes place as deadlines approach.  Therefore, some reaction is more emotional than it is logical and that should be an expected outcome.  In a university setting we have the opportunity to set a sequence of mini-deadlines, in the form of quizzes, homework assignments to hand in, and so forth to overcome this sort of situation.  My experience with reaction to 3D models is that the learning curve proceeds as follows:  intial reaction is "WOW" or "COOL" and blind fascination with the mechanics of how the model works.  Some people never get over that stage.  But, for those who do, the next step is to feel a bit angry, as if they had been duped--"but, it's not reality" or "but, that's not the way it really is" or some such (right...at this point reassurance seems important...that indeed the model was never intended to do all).  Once this last stage has been overcome, then real progress in use of modeling can begin..."how can I use the model to extract information about, or visualize, X, Y, or Z?"  "What happens if X is the maximum building height?" "How can I use a structural model in support of other models?"  "How can I use a structural model to free up valuable time to think about human or cultural or other physical issues that the model does not (and cannot) address."  It is so nice to see that the taskforce is now, as a group, moving forward (along with the early adoptors) on the top step of the learning curve; naturally, members of the public as a group, who necessarily know less about the process that the taskforce has undertaken, will not yet be at the same point. (Please feel free to share the URL for this site as you wish.)  The final step is that the viewer of the model learns to create his/her own models, thereby becoming free of any bias introduced by an outside modeler:  that my goal here--to train folks within the City to create at least some of their own VR models so that they have flexibility in using  this planning tool along with the set of tools they already have in their kit.

Models:  Possible Next Steps

Solstice:  An Electronic Journal of Geography and Mathematics, Institute of Mathematical Geography, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Volume XV, Number 1.