Kingston Ontario, Canada, is known for its beautiful and dynamic atmosphere, featuring over 1,200 heritage properties, a historic waterfront, and a blend of new and existing developments. In order to ensure the preservation of the city’s charm while embracing innovation, the City of Kingston has embarked on a revolutionary urban planning venture using 3D modelling technology. This digital twin project aims to create a virtual representation or a digital reality of Kingston, providing better situational awareness and enhancing the decision-making process. With the use of advanced tools and the support of Esri Canada, the City of Kingston is transforming the way urban planning is conducted.
Building the Digital Twin
The vision of the digital twin project is to gather, collect, and manage all relevant information throughout the project lifecycle. This includes collaborating with various disciplines such as land surveyors, city planners, engineers, and construction trades. By integrating data from these different sources, the City of Kingston aims to achieve a better understanding of the design and construction process, as well as effective asset management in the future. Ultimately, this initiative is aimed at making Kingston an even better place to live, work, and play.
To create the digital model of Kingston, the City of Kingston acquired a full city lidar in September 2018. This lidar serves as the basis for the 3D model, providing highly accurate and detailed information about the city. The introduction of ArcGIS Pro, a powerful tool for spatial analysis and visualization, has enabled the City of Kingston to leverage existing data and easily create the 3D model. This has redefined the way enterprise GIS is perceived and highlighted the importance of an end-to-end process.
Enhancing Decision-Making with 3D Modelling
The use of 3D modelling in urban planning has revolutionized the decision-making process for the City of Kingston. Previously, development proposals were often based on artists’ renderings, which can be subjective and limited in their representation. With the introduction of 3D data, planners can now provide a realistic view of what a proposed development might look like. This allows for better evaluation of the impact on historic viewsheds and considerations such as light impact analysis. The public is also encouraged to offer their ideas and suggestions, and with the integration of Esri Canada’s excellent customer support, implementing these changes has become much easier and efficient.
Looking to the Future
The City of Kingston is not stopping at just creating a 3D model of buildings and bridges. The next step is to model every aspect of the community, both above and below ground. This will provide a comprehensive view of the entire city, allowing for better planning and decision-making in all areas. The 3D platform has been a topic of discussion for the City of Kingston’s GIS team for several years, and seeing it come to fruition within a relatively short period of time is incredibly exciting. The advancements in technology and the ease of use have sparked enthusiasm for the possibilities that the next five years will bring.
In conclusion, the City of Kingston’s digital twin project is transforming urban planning by embracing 3D modelling technology. Through the collaboration of various disciplines and the utilization of advanced tools, the city aims to create a holistic and accurate representation of Kingston. This initiative will not only preserve the city’s beauty and heritage but also pave the way for innovative and visionary planning. The future looks promising for the City of Kingston as they continue to leverage existing data and push the boundaries of urban planning with the power of 3D modelling.