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research, teaching

City Information Modeling


The work a urban planner today requires dealing with an uncertain, rapidly changing future (Castells, 2007), where static long-term plans prove ineffective, either in representing the urban phenomenon, or in elaborating prescription rules to deal with complex problems (Ascher, 2010). Seeking tools to deal with the issue, already implemented and documented initiatives show propositions for a City Information Model (CIM) composed of an integrated framework of computational solutions structured in 3 main parts: 1) a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), 2) a Geographic Information System (GIS) and 3) an Algorithmic Modeler, where a Visual Programming Interface (VPI) allied to a CAD software shows itself a fertile environment for the creation of algorithms for analysis and synthesis of information about urban space (Gil, Almeida & Duarte, 2011; Beirão, 2012; Beirão, Montenegro & Arrobas, 2012). The third part, despite being powerful in facing urban planning activities, is difficult to operate, where the available functions require a great knowledge in Structured Query Language (SQL) to operate the connection with the RDBMS. Specifically addressing this issue, this paper presents Carcará, an add-on for the VPI structured in a clustering logic, creating functions that represent typical queries and the translation of geographic data into geometric data, allowing their visualization on the CAD platform. Besides basic queries on the database structure itself, Carcará has functions that help in the elaboration of three-dimensional models in LOD 100 (2.5D), besides having modules for quick analysis and data visualization. Once deployed within a system that operates from the integration of computing platforms through SGBDR, the tool also provides functions that allow writing to the database, providing the algorithmic modeler to act as an information production environment.



The use of visual programming interface for structuring a generic digital framework in a City Information Model (CIM) workflow


A data-driven approach to inform planning process in informal settlements

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