Posted by David Betts

Introducing SmartSpaceAnalyser for the web

Realtime masterplanning is on the horizon – Imagine if the urban planners, architects and decision makers had access to data about the city / district / masterplan they were working with. Now imagine if they also had access to analytical tools that demonstrate how their designs or decisions affect the quality of life, economic value and environmental impact – in terms of how vibrant / noisy / windy / congested / active the new site would be. Now imagine if such complex modelling data analytics was accessible right from the web, from within a familiar google maps platform. Finally, imagine if you could run these analytics in realtime, as you manipulate the model. How powerful would that be? Realtime Masterplanning is on the horizon, and it’s been put together by a joint collaboration between BuroHappold Engineering and Flux.

The teams are launching the first app on the Flux AppStore called SmartSpaceAnalyser – an intuitive interactive tool that can analyse a part of a city in a few clicks. This realtime analysis tool lets users drop target points on a map and provides visual feedback on performance measures including connectivity between the existing sites and new developments, travel distances, visibility and wayfinding. Using a drag and draw interface on top of Google Maps the user can quickly runt these analytics in realtime, and quickly export all the analytics to the most common 3D modelling and BIM environments of Sketch-up, Rhino 3D and Revit, for further analysis and integration with the design workflow.

This is possible thanks to the power of Flux’s interoperability platform and the realtime modelling and analysis tool by BuroHappold’s Smart Space team. This initial release focuses primarily on the spatial context analysis of the urban realm. The future extensions to the tool will allow modelling of environmental and economic impacts – as well the impacts of the development in terms of how happy a place is for people!

Being able to harness, visualise and drill down into the spatial connectivity information is crucial to understanding the current situation, identify trends, highlight issues and spot opportunities. An ever-increasing volume of data about the cities we live in is becoming publicly available – going beyond describing shape and form it tells us how and when people use spaces and resources and what they feel about their experience. How can we use this rich information to shape and enhance our future cities, buildings, lifestyles and societies / communities?

SmartSpaceAnalyser is also extendable to incorporate live data sources and highly compatible with our simulation tool SmartMove, facilitating real-time monitoring of a city, evidence based decision-making and predictive modelling to inform future scenarios.

We recognise the risk of not using this data and going with instinct or intuition – it can result in inefficient designs, poor user experience and in the worst cases serious incidents. The outputs from the app can help make strategic and tactical decisions, drive designs that are based on evidence not gut feel, and optimise real-time operations in a way that we know will work. Ultimately, basing decisions on data saves money, improves experience and helps avoid catastrophes.

Realtime Masterplanning is about to become a reality, watch the space!

Try out SmartSpaceAnalyser at: