Mombasa 3D model

Surreal Studios is currently working on building the entire city of Mombasa in 3D.Our goal is to create the 3D model to feature all the existing infrastructure; roads,streets lanes as well as the existing urban fabric in form of buildings. the purpose of the model is to avail to stakeholders,developers and the public, at a very reasonable price, a 3D basemap with which all proposals on urban design, infrastructure and large institutional level designs can be contexted.As an architect im used to designing in 3D, but when it comes to city masterplanning most designs are limited to only 2D information.we are seeking to change that. Our aims and goals in the 3D model seek to:

  1. map all the roads, including their names and sizes
  2. map all the plots with their plot sizes, land use and geolocation
  3. generate massing models of all existing buildings, estimating closely the builtup areas, height, number of floors,roof types and functions
  4. map all the civic buildings, hospitals,schools,police stations,fire stations, restaurants,large retail stores and administrative buildings
  5. include information on the buildings when clicked, such as its name,building type,floor area,contacts,website,etc
  6. enable web viewing on the 3d model and its exploration in 3d online on our website for public participation
  7. the 3D model will be available in all CAD compatible formats on autodesk products as well as Graphisoft and GIS.

The mapping of all roads, facilities allows for marketing and accessibility for public use. users will be able to view and explore the city and locate businesses, hospitals, restaurants and the like. The ability to link the 3d building within the model of a particular business with its website and contact information allows for marketing and business visibility and easy navigation and access to what the city has to offer. Tourists will be able to navigate tour routes and familiarise themselves with the city online much clearer than on 2D maps for example.

we are also working on integrating professionally done 360 panorama scenes for viewing actual scenes on the ground.

The mapping of lots and plot no information with height information allows for county government assessment of structures and proposals that meeting the physical planning guidelines. this allows for monitoring and evaluation of guidelines as well as their effect on the city image and functioning.

the Cad compatibility of the models means architects and other building consultants will be able to integrate their designs with the models from withing their preferred Cad applications and the urban analysts will be able to perform 3d analysis such as volumetric analysis, suitability analysis, line of sight analysis,etc on the 3d models from within arcGis. this will enable a fully top down design approach at all scales from the macro to the micro scale of design and they will all be vertically integrated.

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Visualising the LAPSSET Lamu Hinterland development Plan proposal

For many Citiesxl is just another $40 video game for strategy game lovers..(which i happen to be too). But to me Citiesxl is much more than that…its a city building simulation game that i find one of the most useful tools in my brainstorming of urban ideas. in itself it is just a game, but by the fact that it is a fully moddable game (it can be modified as per user’s wish and with consent of the game developer) it becomes a very useful tool. To do that first one has to learn ofcourse the modding of the terrain. So how useful is it for an urban designer/planner?how can one utilise it for real life examples?That is what we seek to explore in this 3d conceptual model of the LAPSSET lamu metropolis in citiesxl.

First and foremost we had to create the terrain. this was achieved using DEM (digital elevation models) which were then converted into a heightmap and using citiesxl map editor patched into the game as a mod/patch file. for the texture of the map i used the JPC conceptual masterplan of lapsset and bing satelite imagery maps with the roads highlighted so as to be able to remap them in citiesxl. the Lamu city we will build will be a new urban fabric and we will use citiesxl functionalities to analyse the city.

As you can see in the videos above, it is very useful in visualising the city and very graphic. one can zoom into the particulars as well as see the full extents. Now the visualisation is representative not actual in size..the canvas terrain in the game is actually 10km by 10km by representative of actual terrain which is 70km by were talking scale of abt 1:7, but one can already visualise clearly in terms of size and proportions..this masterplan is very much flawed. it just looks too big for size..well thats my quick judgement. If one has a ranch/investment plans in the proposed metropolitan say only 20% of the proposed metropolitan area will actually be a metropolis..and not all at once but gradual. a 500km2 footprint of a city is just too big. Id say a fifth makes more sense and is more realistic.

and so the Questions…the realistic is it?is the proposed size of the metropolitan area/industrial area insufficient/adequate/oversized,etc what footprint is really expected in the hinterland in the near and far future..what opportunities will avail..where will certain activities be located and their viability..resort city,hotel locations,tourist areas, where is freight/passengers/transportation going to be high and where will freight be little?etc

what are the facts on the area..whats projected?Vision 2030 projections for Lamu/LAPSSET. The growth of Lamu urban area will be greatly be supported and sustained by the growth nodes created by the LAPSSET components of Port, Airport, Resort City, Oil Refinery, and their related activities and enhanced by the presence of a planned supporting urban infrastructure. Reinforcing this growth will be the support of the rich hinterland resource base.projected population to be about a million in 2030.

observations so far, totally oversized plan..even for 2030..unless i misread the plan.i find quite puzzling the mass transit routes encircling the urban area. it made me think the whole of whats been encircled to be the business district. buti think it must actually represent the entire metropolitan area..that is the CBD, and residential districts within it. initially i had thought the entire urban area to be the zone in orange(marked urban area in the masterplan) but its just too big. and so is the port related industrial area. notice im working on a smaller..a seventh of the actual size model(10km by 10km instead of 70km by 70km) and i have such a hard time filling up the urban area. it makes more sense if its a multicentered city with several business districts and residential quarters within. otherwise its way too big. way too big for a million sized population.Even for a five million sized population id even go on to say(its bigger than Nairobi’s). I think the actual city thats going to grow might be a third of whats conceptualised..just my quick reactions. Unless its a really large spaced widely spread city of low density..way lower than mombasa or nairobi. Anyway thats it for LAPSSET 3d brainstorming using citiesxl..more detailed answers can be gotten in GIS driven modelling approach.

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