Procedural Design


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the future of planning and design

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Procedural Design

  1. 1. Procedural Design The Future of Planning and Design
  2. 2. It's about Intent. A city looks and feels the way it does because of human intention. Early civilizations built their settlements next to waterways, designing them to take advantage of these resources and ensure their survival. During the beginning of the industrial revolution, cities were designed with everevolving rules, for example, ensuring that city streets were wide enough to accommodate the full turn of a horse and carriage. In this way, the values of the people were encoded into the very DNA of the city. The New Rules A complex built environment can be reduced to three basic elements: links along which travel can occur, nodes representing the intersections where two or more paths cross and public spaces form, and buildings where most human activities take place. The functionalities of place are all defined by rules and procedures, which make up the core design vocabulary of a place. Procedural design techniques automatically generate urban designs through predefined rules, which you can change as much as needed, providing room for limitless new design possibilities. Whole City Design Procedural design of a new urban ecosystem starts with a street network. Street blocks are then subdivided into lots, resulting in a new urban form. By selecting all or some of the lots, you can then generate buildings with appropriate setbacks and architectural characteristics. Procedural design technology lets buildings vary from one another to achieve an urban aesthetic. At this point, the city model can be redesigned quickly and iteratively by changing simple parameters. Design by the Rules Procedural design allows designers to write rules directly into the code of a rule set, essentially encoding anyone's values directly into how the city will look and feel. Any zoning code can be used to instantly model a city. Procedural design allows you to create complete city designs, not just a building at a time but entire neighborhoods with complete infrastructure and landscaping.
  3. 3. Urban Design Is Changing. Procedural design opens the world to a new set of opportunities for urban planning. Today, a building must be designed as an integral part of the urban ecosystem to be considered sustainable. While design is not inherently dependent on metrics, during the realization process, even a cursory look at today's architecture reveals the need for a standard method of accountability. Procedural design provides advanced analytical tools in response to the growing need for measurable, performance-based design. It's Fast. By using defined performance indicators, procedural design enables the rapid launch of community design and implementation strategies enabling design at several scales simultaneously. Scenarios supporting the geodesign framework can then be easily evaluated and reevaluated by comparing key performance indicators. A New Way to Design Procedural design creates a new relationship between people and their urban ecosystems. It's a technique that helps us to develop a better understanding of how we shape our cities and, in turn, how they shape us. Contact Us
  4. 4. Esri inspires and enables people to positively impact their future through a deeper, geographic understanding of the changing world around them. Governments, industry leaders, academics, and nongovernmental organizations trust us to connect them with the analytic knowledge they need to make the critical decisions that shape the planet. For more than 40 years, Esri has cultivated collaborative relationships with partners who share our commitment to solving earth’s most pressing challenges with geographic expertise and rational resolve. Today, we believe that geography is at the heart of a more resilient and sustainable future. Creating responsible products and solutions drives our passion for improving quality of life everywhere. Contact Esri 380 New York Street Redlands, California 92373-8100  usa 1 800 447 9778 t  909 793 2853 f  909 793 5953 Offices worldwide Copyright © 2013 Esri. All rights reserved. Esri, the Esri globe logo,, and are trademarks, service marks, or registered marks of Esri in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions. Other companies and products or services mentioned herein may be trademarks, service marks, or registered marks of their respective mark owners. Printed in USA 138565 ESRI2M11/13dg