+33 4 83 58 10 99

Integrating 3D modeling in Smart Cities: what you need to know

Share on :

Integrating 3D modeling into Smart Cities 

The "Smart City" concept is currently taking shape in cities around the world, such as Singapore, London, New York, Helsinki and San Francisco. It's a concept of urban development in which all sectors of activity - infrastructure, transport, industry, commerce, energy, etc. - are managed using connected intelligence, thanks to new technologies. 3D modeling, a trend that has gained ground over the last twenty years, is an essential technique for theoperationalization of these Smart Cities. Here's the lowdown.

3D modeling in Smart Cities: a design role

When it comes to planning, infrastructure and service decisions, Smart Cities are increasingly turning to 3D modeling. Indeed, this new digital trend is playing an important role in the implementation and operation of these Smart Cities.

Architectural design of towns and buildings

The complex, detailed and advanced design capabilities of 3D modeling software make it the architectural design tool par excellence for smart cities. Whereas previously, architectural software was only available to create plans and basic 3D models, today 3D modeling is able to design even outdoor spaces.

However, 3D modeling for Smart Cities does not ignore the architectural design of buildings. Indeed, various details can be taken into account by these tools when it comes to building construction. For example, shading and sunlight exposure for the alignment of new buildings can be anticipated thanks to 3D modeling of the entire smart city. This technique simulates the sun's behavior over the course of a day and a year to see where shading or overexposure to sunlight can become a problem.

Urban and landscape planning

The integration of 3D modeling in Smart Cities facilitates urban space management and successful landscape planning. For example, municipal officials no longer need to rely solely on paper maps for property valuation and building permits. Thanks to 3D modeling, cadastral maps can now be stored in 3D.

In addition, the ability to import satellite maps, contour lines and 3D buildings facilitates the design of any landscape project. For example, the spacing of outbuildings, enabling the provision of adequate green space and parks for the well-being of occupants, can be an excellent use of 3D modeling in urban and landscape planning. The same applies to the careful design of tourist features such as swimming pools, attractions, public concert venues and so on.

Environmental considerations

When designing landscapes and green spaces, it's important to take into account the specific characteristics of plants and vegetation. By using state-of-the-artenvironmental simulation tools such as Smart Cities 3D modeling software, you can ensure that these operations take place in complete safety. With this technique, it is possible, for example, to avoid the dangerous fall of trees at specific seasons.

Furthermore, as city populations grow, ensuring that land is used effectively and efficiently is a top priority. With 3D modeling of the sustainable city, it is possible to guarantee the efficient distribution of resources and the availability of green spaces to meet the growing needs of the urban population.

3D modeling in Smart Cities: a role in city management

In addition to its role in the design of Smart Cities, 3D modeling plays a full part in their management.

Smart Cities data management

Smart Cities data are grouped together on a common "open data" platform. They are accessible to all users, free of charge. Information is made more accessible to residents through 3D modeling. Indeed, thanks to the BIM (Building Information Modeling) approach of this 3D modeling, information concerning the city's components is gathered and made available on the aforementioned platform.

The BIM-annotated details of each element of the city can thus be used by city managers to manage day-to-day business, while being shared transparently with taxpayers. The case of the French city of Dijon is a perfect illustration of this, with their OnDijon project, operational since April 2019. This project uses BIM and a hypervision platform to manage urban spaces, including traffic lights, public lighting, access control and more.

Smart Cities maintenance

A city is a constantly evolving entity. That's why the 3D modeling technique is indispensable for its transformation into a Smart City. This technique is a good starting point for determining the city's future appearance. Simulation, in turn, is needed to see how certain aspects of the city will develop, change and require maintenance by city managers.

3D modeling, or more precisely 3D digital mock-ups, will manage the operation and maintenance of the city, each of its neighborhoods or even its network. This maintenance can be streamlined thanks to the solutions offered by BIM.

Anticipating the future needs of smart cities

3D modeling enables us toanticipate the future needs of Smart Cities. For example, the information contained in Singapore's model goes far beyond structural data. Indeed, Singapore has vast amounts of on-the-ground data such as demographics and climate, combined with real-time, platform-based sensor data. The visualization of buildings, the natural environment and the movement of people will thus help the government determine where to invest in new infrastructure and deliver services efficiently. It will be useful in all areas, from planning to disaster response.

3D modeling in Smart Cities: the benefits

3D modeling in Smart Cities design has a number of advantages, far beyond its function as a project design tool.

Project optimization and control

Smart Cities are investing millions of euros in their efforts, but the creation of 3D models is currently within the reach of many cities. However, some 3D modeling tools can be quite expensive, which can make it difficult to make the project profitable.

Still on the subject of Singapore's exemplary city, it has invested millions of dollars in its 3D model, which will be used by government agencies and the general public via its "open data" platform. Its 3D model will provide an effective means of testing ideas, planning and addressing local challenges related to growth and other pressing issues. BIM in Smart Cities projects, moreover, can help solve concerns relating to increasing urbanization, such as traffic congestion, housing affordability, climate change, infrastructure wear and tear, and so on.

Minimizing the risk of errors

3D modeling in Smart Cities can be a tool for detailed analysis at the design stage, i.e. before construction. It enables any problems to be identified at an early stage, and initiatives to be taken to resolve them. It can also be used to calculate costs and opportunities, so that the project can continue under the best possible conditions.

For engineers and architects, the 3D virtual model contains no errors. It thereforeavoids human architectural faults, particularly following modifications. BIM software makes it possible to generate 2D or 3D plans, and to check compliance with current standards and project criteria. Any construction defects can be corrected at an early stage, even during the design phase if necessary, so that no time is wasted.

Facilitating collaboration and cooperation between players

3D modeling, an integral part of Smart Cities, is a means of facilitating collaboration between project stakeholders, thanks in particular to the uniform data and information provided by digital models.

3D models make it easier for them to see how a new building, solar panel installation or bridge will impact an area. Once a plan is proposed and integrated into the model, it becomes an effective tool for communicating challenges, status and opportunities to partners and the public. 3D models offer smart cities an effective way to collaborate internally, with the public and with other municipal leaders.

Let's model your real estate projects.


Share on :

See also

Request a callback

Need help?
Talk free of charge to a Vizion Studio consultant