3D mapping can show the impact of a new building on your neighborhood

Want to get an idea of ​​what your neighborhood would look like if that proposed apartment building or retail complex was built on your street?

The Central Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) creates 3D maps of Franklin County, a digital representation of communities, so officials and residents can determine which buildings would be suitable and which would not.

“Visualize what’s happening,” said Kerstin Carr, MORPC’s regional strategy manager and senior planning director.

“What will be the shape and impacts of the building? »

3D mapping: Visualizing developments before they are built makes planning easier

The maps could also help managers understand the impact on initiatives such as the LinkUS Effort by the Central Ohio Transit Authority to create bus rapid transit lines and resulting development in the county, as well as the Fast 5 efforts developing a network of regional parks along five major waterways and potential projects related to this.

“I think there could be a good way to visualize the connections to neighborhoods and parks,” she said.

It’s a work in progress, but so far MORPC has created half a million 3D structures, using construction data and footprints.

Zoning changes:Columbus zoning code heads for overhaul to spur redevelopment in urban ‘growth corridors’

“It’s a great way to potentially track development projects, help planning commissions visually see development,” Carr said, giving them a better understanding of what it’s all about visually and in terms of size. .

It could also show what it would be like to walk inside the building, she said.

“It would help with audience engagement and NIMBYism,” Carr said, referring to the “Not in my backyard” sentiments often voiced by neighbors on many projects.

Communities across the country are using 3D to facilitate planning

Des Moines, Iowa, and State College, Pennsylvania, use similar tools, Carr said.

At State College, home to Penn State University, planners are using 3D to analyze the impact on surrounding buildings and the neighborhood of high-rise luxury apartment buildings – something those in the Columbus college district around Ohio State University know very well as more projects like this are planned for the North High Street Corridor.

State College has been using its 3D mapping for about a year and a half as it faced development pressures. 3D mapping has been a way of disseminating information about the projects to the public, not just what they might look like in the context of the neighborhood, but also the underlying information about each development, said Greg Garthe, senior state planner. Middle School.

“State College, like Columbus, is a college town with lots of interested citizens who want to know what’s going on with the college community. Lots of curious minds,” Garthe said.

“It really helped people understand the context of their environment,” he said.

Michael Kehlmeier, who chairs the zoning committee of the University Area Commissionsaid in an email that he thought such a program would be useful in several ways.

“It would help us see how the building interacts with the neighborhood around it,” Kehlmeier said. “Often new buildings are taller than the surrounding ones. This would help us see how the larger size would fit into the community.

“Also, I like that we can see the actual architecture of the building and not just a white box to represent the project. The study of shadows is also nice. Neighbors often would like to know how the buildings will affect the sunlight on their homes,” he said. .

So far, the MORPC has shared what it has done with officials in Columbus, Dublin, Upper Arlington, Franklin County and Ohio State, Carr said. “I hope they will give us feedback,” she said.

Columbus spoke with MORPC about 3D mapping, said Kevin Wheeler, Columbus’ deputy director for growth policy.

“We want to use it as a tool moving forward,” Wheeler said, although exactly how it might be used is still unclear.

“We recognize it has potential, and as we update the zoning code, we particularly want to see how it can help in that process,” he said.

Columbus is the complete overhaul of its zoning code for the first time in 70 years, examining ways to create denser neighborhoods to accommodate anticipated population growth. The city wants to reduce the number of pushbacks necessary for developers, who often end up fighting with residents and neighborhoods who don’t want proposed projects, like the two-year battle waged by residents of Schumacher Place near German Village at the redevelopment of a former Giant Eagle store in a 4⅟₂ storey building with 262 residential units.

“When we look at this tool, it can be useful for strategizing less on a site-by-site basis. It’s more of a tool to help us understand change and capacity for growth,” Wheeler said.

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