The future holds so many amazing discoveries and improvements for the use of resources. For instance, city planning can all be understood via models before the city is built. Or resource use can be understood via models while the city is growing, to give light to when, where and how to redirect resources and growth.

Helsinki has launched a new communications platform for its residents based around its pioneering work with 3D modelling.

The new platform shows aerial shots of Oulunkylä, a northern suburb of the city, where a light rail line and other developments are planned so that residents can express their opinion on the vision for the area’s development.

The platform is based on the Finnish capital’s long-term work with modelling tools that were originally used for architectural competitions. Since the late 1980s, the city has developed two models: one city information model (CIM) which connects all the asset data within the city’s infrastructure based on an industry open-source standard CityGML; and the second, a 3D reality mesh, which is produced through the capture of digital photos, and allows the city to provide highly accurate depictions of buildings and streets. The models can be used for multiple applications including to assist with urban planning, for carbon emissions tracking, for the analysis of energy use or the impact of transport, and by insurers, who are able to accurately quantify the size of buildings and the risks inherent to them.

“The CIM is more for analysing the city for carbon emissions and the reality mesh is for visual stimulation,” explains Jarmo Suomisto, an urban planner for Helsinki from the City Executive Office, who has led the development of the models. “We are the first city in the whole world that delivers both of these models as open data.”

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