Visualizing Revitalization


Browsing through some urban planning websites brought me to the Urban Advantage, an organization that creates realistic computer images of smart urban redesign. Each project starts with a snapshot of a current development, and the image is subsequently altered to include elements of walkable, livable communities – sidewalks, multi-modal access, downtown retail, and even green spaces.

This is just one example of the type of computer imaging that the web designers work on:

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The first image shows the current condition – an office park in Columbia, Maryland. The next two pictures show the inclusion of a new sidewalk, buildings that are close to the street, and storefronts. These public space features help shape a corporate parking lot into a community, as characterized by the pedestrians in the third picture.

The Urban Advantage perspective is that a good vision leads to smarter investments and planning choices . According to the website, “seeing is key to understanding.” If a realistic visualization of a community is presented, then it becomes much easier to make decisions that will lead to that vision. The mission of the organization is to promote a new urbanism, “the revitalization of vital public space—streets, squares, and neighborhood centers—where people can see each other and meet.” Unequivocally, the interpretations provided by the Urban Advantage provide a useful tool for municipalities in making planning decisions.

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About Beata Bujalska

Beata Bujalska is the former Campaign Coordinator for Renew Lehigh Valley. She currently lives in Panama, a place that fascinates her due to (among other reasons) its recent development boom.

Posted on September 9, 2009, in Housing, Neighborhoods, Public Infrastructure, Transportation, Urbanism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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