IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The impact of 3D modeling function usage on the design content of urban design plans in US cities


  • Firas A Al-Douri


Some experts suggest that urban design plans in US cities may lack adequate coverage of the essential design aspects of the built environment. Digital models and information technology tools may help designers to visualize and interact with design alternatives and large urban datasets more effectively, thus correcting this problem. Case studies of recent urban design plans that have used digital models may indicate whether these technologies can increase the quality of the plan. This research discusses the role that digital models can play in supporting designers in addressing the essential design aspects. A literature review focused on reviewing secondary sources is used to construct theoretical propositions against which the empirical data can be compared and contrasted. A case study investigates the extents and methods with which modeling functions have been used in developing a selected urban design plan. The findings refute the premise that the plan would inadequately address essential design aspects, and indicate both an effective usage and application of modeling functions in the design process to analyze and represent the urban design aspects. The extent of design aspect coverage is found to be linked to the extensive usage of modeling functions and to the combination of computational and conventional tools, techniques, and modes of presentation. The results are consistent with the research hypothesis that the usage of modeling functions would increase the design content. The effective usage of the modeling functions appears to have improved the quality of the decision-making process by increasing designers’ cognitive and communication capabilities and providing a platform for communicating design ideas among and across design teams that lead to wider involvement in the decision making.

Suggested Citation

  • Firas A Al-Douri, 2010. "The impact of 3D modeling function usage on the design content of urban design plans in US cities," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 37(1), pages 75-98, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envirb:v:37:y:2010:i:1:p:75-98

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: abstract
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    File URL:
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. McCann, Laura & Colby, Bonnie & Easter, K. William & Kasterine, Alexander & Kuperan, K.V., 2005. "Transaction cost measurement for evaluating environmental policies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 527-542, March.
    2. Drezner, Zvi & Wesolowsky, George O., 1996. "Location-allocation on a line with demand-dependent costs," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 444-450, May.
    3. Petrakis, Emmanuel & Xepapadeas, Anastasios, 2003. "Location decisions of a polluting firm and the time consistency of environmental policy," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 197-214, May.
    4. Kaplow, Louis & Shavell, Steven, 2002. "Economic analysis of law," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 25, pages 1661-1784 Elsevier.
    5. Dixit, Avinash & Olson, Mancur, 2000. "Does voluntary participation undermine the Coase Theorem?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 309-335, June.
    6. Sheshinski, Eytan, 2004. "On atmosphere externality and corrective taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 727-734, March.
    7. Bernard M.S. van Praag & B.E. Baarsma, 2000. "The Shadow Price of Aircraft Noise Nuisance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-004/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    8. Koop, Gary & Tole, Lise, 2004. "Measuring the health effects of air pollution: to what extent can we really say that people are dying from bad air?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 30-54, January.
    9. Jesse Schwartz & Robert Repetto, 2000. "Nonseparable Utility and the Double Dividend Debate: Reconsidering the Tax-Interaction Effect," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 15(2), pages 149-157, February.
    10. Jacek Cukrowski & Manfred M. Fischer, 2000. "Theory of Comparative Advantage: Do Transportation Costs Matter?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 311-322.
    11. Williams III, Roberton C., 2003. "Health effects and optimal environmental taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 323-335, February.
    12. Kohlberg, Elon & Novshek, William, 1982. "Equilibrium in a simple price-location model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 7-15.
    13. Gustafsson, Bo, 1998. "Scope and limits of the market mechanism in environmental management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2-3), pages 259-274, February.
    14. Siebert, Horst, 1981. "Praktische Schwierigkeiten bei der Steuerung der Umweltnutzung über Preise," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 3581, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    15. Soderholm, Patrik & Sundqvist, Thomas, 2003. "Pricing environmental externalities in the power sector: ethical limits and implications for social choice," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 333-350, October.
    16. Katherine Falconer & Pierre Dupraz & Martin Whitby, 2001. "An Investigation of Policy Administrative Costs Using Panel Data for the English Environmentally Sensitive Areas," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 83-103.
    17. Sakari Uimonen, 2001. "The insufficiency of Pigouvian taxes in a spatial general equilibrium model," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 35(2), pages 283-298.
    18. Eskeland, Gunnar S, 1994. "A Presumptive Pigovian Tax: Complementing Regulation to Mimic an Emissions Fee," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(3), pages 373-394, September.
    19. Abdullah Dasci & Gilbert Laporte, 2004. "Location and Pricing Decisions of a MultiStore Monopoly in a Spatial Market," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 489-515.
    20. Steven Shavell, 1983. "Liability for Harm Versus Regulation of Safety," NBER Working Papers 1218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. C. D. Hyson & W. P. Hyson, 1950. "The Economic Law of Market Areas," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 319-327.
    22. Cropper, Maureen L & Oates, Wallace E, 1992. "Environmental Economics: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 675-740, June.
    23. Shaik, Saleem & Helmers, Glenn A. & Langemeier, Michael R., 2002. "Direct And Indirect Shadow Price And Cost Estimates Of Nitrogen Pollution Abatement," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 27(02), December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pio:envirb:v:37:y:2010:i:1:p:75-98. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Neil Hammond). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.