Computational Urban Planning: Using the Value Lab as Control Center
Urban planning involves many aspects and various disciplines, demanding an asynchronous planning approach. The level of complexity rises with each aspect to be considered and makes it difficult to find universally satisfactory solutions. To improve this situation we propose a new approach, which complement traditional design methods with a computational urban plan- ning method that can fulfil formalizable design requirements automatically. Based on this approach we present a design space exploration framework for complex urban planning projects. For a better understanding of the idea of design space exploration, we introduce the concept of a digital scout which guides planners through the design space and assists them in their creative explorations. The scout can support planners during manual design by informing them about potential im- pacts or by suggesting different solutions that fulfill predefined quality requirements. The planner can change flexibly between a manually controlled and a completely automated design process. The developed system is presented using an exemplary urban planning scenario on two levels from the street layout to the placement of building volumes. Based on Self-Organizing Maps we implemented a method which makes it possible to visualize the multi-dimensional solution space in an easily analysable and comprehensible form.