Spatial Analytics &

3D Digital City Modelling

Understanding how people connect and use spaces, and how patterns vary
over time, can lead to better place making and an improved quality of life.
Place as an anchor
A connection with place can inform and shape the identity of an individual.  Both the natural environment and built form of a place influence the connections that people make.  In today’s highly mobile world memories of
the experiences in places form the foundations for communities, and provide anchors for reflecting on life experiences.

With place being so important in human life there are a range of policies and investments targeted
at making places more vibrant, activated, and safer, through such things as place making, transport infrastructure investments and urban planning.

There are a range of iconic successes for place making in urban areas, such as the High Line in New
York, and these successful initiatives have relied on the experience, talent and genius of the place makers.  We’ve taken up the challenge of supporting this talent with the development of meaningful measures of factors such as city vibrancy, quality of residential amenity and levels of social inclusion. Essentially we are able to provide baseline measures on key attributes of city life before changes are introduced, and then to track how the city performs on vibrancy, amenity and social inclusion after changes are made.

Underpinning the creation of these meaningful measures is a knowledge architecture that uses advanced spatial analysis methods to build insights and powerful simulation capabilities built into digital models of cities in both 2D and 3D.
Good Cities
The Good Cities model measures city function and performance across ten attributes in three key categories:
  • Place and access, which focuses on characteristics of areas and connections between areas. 
  • Prospects for people, which focuses on enablers of participation in work, leisure and quality living.
  • Strength of community which focuses on the social assets of the city.

The model has been developed and road tested with a number of Australian city leaders. Drawing on research and best practice, it incorporates dynamic intelligence on people, attributes of place, and the activities that occur in different places.

These innovative metrics are designed to be deployed in spatial models to assess current performance of cities and precincts, and to simulate future performance under different city conditions.
Virtual Cities, 2D & 3D Digital City Modelling
Cities and towns are becoming increasingly complex and urban planners require increasingly sophisticated scenario modelling and evaluation tools to prepare policies and actions that will meet the future needs of the communities. Planners no longer have the option of making decisions based on disconnected analyses that do not consider scenarios that contain complex interactions and inherent conflicts in use cases such as: 
  • System level cost/benefit analysis for infrastructure investments
  • Land use planning & optimisation
  • Energy modelling, climate change and natural peril risk
Sensing Value’s approach is to provide those who are embedded in, and need to respond to, the specific requirements of local environments with tools that are sophisticated enough to meet the planning challenges that stem from complex and constrained environments. Sensing Value's world-class digital city models, built in both 2D and 3D with simulation development and scenario evaluation capabilities, are based on deep domain understanding and are built to local requirements, involving:
  • Integrating complex, big data sets that span:
  • Spatial data including topography, geo-referenced satellite / LIDAR data, cadastral data, road networks, points of interest, rainfall 
  • Attribute data from built form and planning data, examples of which are planning schemes, zones, overlays, ratings data, geo-demographic inputs, and usage patterns 
  • Attitudinal and preference data 
  • Financial and economic data 
  • Image, LIDAR - 3rd party sourced or bespoke drone capture 
  • Sensor data - water quality/chemistry/flow, other as required
  • Using machine learning and deep learning algorithms for segmentation, prediction, and elasticity modelling
  • Applying econometrics to raw and transformed data assets (including modelled outputs) from simulations to assess cost/benefit and provide forecasting capability
Community Engagement & Measuring Vibrancy
The range and quality of activities and experiences that people enjoy forms a key part of the inherent attractiveness of a community or locality.  Vibrancy is dependent on activities and venues that encourage social interaction such as pubs and clubs, theatres, cinemas, art galleries, parks and churches. Vibrancy is measured by taking into account the interrelationship between availability of locations for specific types of activity, the number and location of different people segments at specific times of day, activity participation rates, and the quality of social interactions.  Sensing Value has built interactive visualisation and dashboards that provide a rich picture of where and when vibrancy exists in a community. The dashboards allow a user to interactively analyse and compare the levels of vibrancy in specific suburbs within a local government area by segment (Worker, Visitor or Resident), prevalence of venue, type of activity, time of day and day of week.
Social Inclusion
The health of a community heavily depends on the degree to which people are connected within the social ecosystem. People are no longer limited to their immediate physical environment for social interaction and can participate in a wider range of virtual communities. Inclusiveness is measured based on location data and phone usage such as number and frequency of calls and messaging.
From tactical response to 4th order design
Traditional consulting in the information sciences starts with the approach of capturing user requirements and then designing technical specifications to meet those user needs. It's an approach that has had is fair share of spectacular failures, cost over-runs and missed deadlines.

Traditional cost benefit analysis for major infrastructure investments also have their problems - over-estimating demand for services, unrealistic assumptions used to estimate indirect benefits and narrow scopes of analysis, with any negative impacts of a new development that is not directly costed treated as an 'externality', and ignored in decision making.

The wicked problems of our communities requires a different approach to developing the decision support needed to achieve good outcomes.

Rather than rushing to build a technical infrastructure to hold and analyse data, or using text book formulae to evaluate options we start with designing the knowledge architecture. To do this we focus on the questions that must be answered to create strategic insight, and these questions can be different for different issues, cities and programmes.

These questions are asked in the context of where are we now, and where do we want to be? Using this approach it is then possible to develop hypotheses about what factors may influence outcomes, and it also allows exploration of what levers may be available to achieve our goals.

Thus we are able to develop a roadmap from our current state to our goal, with real baselines established and performance metrics designed to assess the impact of our interventions.

Simulations and virtual city models
For long term investments such as major infrastructure investments, we can design complex simulations of how changes will occur (in population, land use, built form, environmental factors) under a range of scenarios and then use these simulations to assess how our interventions will change life under the different scenarios, substantially improving the probability of successful interventions and more realistic cost benefit analysis.
We don’t just say we collaborate to innovate, it’s inherent in our business model. Our engagement with leading academic and industry partners is the basis for continuous development of products and services that consider how people move, use spaces, and engage in activities over time. Add that to varied and extensive domain knowledge and you have a company that delivers dynamic intelligence and smart solutions. That defines Sensing Value.

Sensing Value Pty Limited
ABN 40600933211

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