the lab

elementslab is an applied research group in the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. The lab develops methods and tools of measured visualizations for public engagement in community planning & design.

Visualizing Urban Futures

Over the past decade, a variety of provincial, metropolitan and local initiatives have been launched to enable Canada’s urban regions to become more sustainable in environmental, economic, and social terms. These initiatives are transformative in nature and demand persuasive evidence that public priorities and resource allocations can and must be aligned if more sustainable cities are to be realized. This project with partners at the Universities...

Wesbrook Place: A Case Study

Wesbrook Place, a new development at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada is notable for bringing a residential neighborhood to a commuter campus and concurrently committing to developing a sustainable community. This post-occupancy study looks at Wesbrook Place nine years after construction began and six years after the first residents moved in. In this study, we evaluated Wesbrook Place against its own goals and targets re...

Graduate Thesis Projects

Lab-related Graduate Thesis Projects 2015 Ignacio Mingo, ‘A Path toward Re-generative Architecture’, Master of Advanced Studies in Landscape Architecture. Supervisors: Ronald Kellett (Chair) Joe Dahmen (Architecture) and Michel Labrie (Local Practice Architecture + Design). In progress. Negin Shakibi, ‘A Proposed Framework for Analyzing the Spatial Organization of Urban Open Space Networks: Case studies of Tehran and Isfahan, Iran’, Mast...

Measured Visualizations for UBCO

elementslab supported UBC Campus and Community Planning (C+CP) by mapping, measuring and visualizing the proposed future UBCO Campus Masterplan to assess it against 1) baseline conditions and 2) City of Kelowna Zoning regulations regarding total land cover and 3) walkability to/from key campus locations. Metrics were spatially based and linked to the C+CP defined program, principles and strategies. We primarily measured existing versus propose...

Climate Smart, Community Wise

climateSMART communityWISE is an educational web project about community planning for climate change mitigation in a Columbia Basin community. Visitors to the site experience an interactive introduction to energy and emissions issues in Columbia Basin communities and are then invited to explore these issues through a simulation of four alternative ways to add 500 new residents in a prototypical community. Users can explore options through aeri...

elementsdb+ CityEngine

elementsdb+ CityEngine is an adaptation of elementsdb cases to CityEngine, the three-dimensional (3D) procedural modeling environment developed by ESRI. This prototype uses CityEngine's parametric rule structure to automates the adaptation, replication and visualization of the geometric attributes of elementsdb cases to local site planning rules such as parcel size, orientation, building height, coverage and setbacks. Case parameters may be refin...

elementsdb+ TouchTable

The elementsdb TouchTable is a prototype urban design visualization and engagement tool developed with colleagues in computer science at the University of British Columbia to create an accessible, interactive and transparent means to engage diverse audiences — planners, designers and the public, for example — in the task of generating and testing urban planning and design options. This tool includes two interfaces — a large touch screen user inte...

Marpole Measured Visualizations

elementslab provided workshops and urban design metrics and visualizations of contemplated land use planning in support of the ongoing Marpole Community Plan. The work elevates understandings of the city’s land use proposals for staff, city council, and community stakeholders. This was a uniquely collaborative process between UBC researchers and city of Vancouver staff including two interactive workshops to test and measure alternative planning s...

20 Canadian Open Spaces

In 2009, Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation supported the addition of 20 CSLA award-winning open spaces in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal to elementsdb. We selected projects that represented: small public spaces, neighbourhood parks, community parks and centers, waterfronts, urban plazas, and natural areas. We conduct field visits to all cases, thus limited our documentation to locales where we had staff- Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal. As a...

Urban Metabolism

A LiDAR-based Urban Metabolism Approach to neighbourhood scale energy and carbon emissions modeling is used in estimating carbon emissions in a 2km square study area in Vancouver. A baseline carbon flow in the study area was measured from empirical data gathered at a carbon flux tower. Component carbon flows were spatially attributed to buildings, transportation, humans, food and waste, and vegetation and soils via remote sensing methods, utility...

BC Hydro Theatre

  BC Hydro Theatre The BC Hydro Theatre at the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability at the University of British Columbia is a flexible perception-testing and community engagement facility featuring advanced visualization and interaction technologies to engage audiences in simulations of sustainability scenarios. elementslab is a participating and contributing research group to the Theatre. Our work will develop and test in...

UniverCity

UniverCity at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC evaluates the first phase of a new self-proclaimed sustainable development adjacent to Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, eight years after construction began and five years after residents first moved in. UniverCity is instructive because it adopted many physical design parameters common to New Urbanist communities and it is a low-impact development. This case study integrates metrics...

PICS Revelstoke

Measured visualizations as catalysts for mobilization: Public engagement in municipal planning for climate change was a two-year (2011 – 2012) social mobilization research project funded by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (http://www.pics.uvic.ca/) . This work developed and tested new methods of 3-d modeling and visualization to deepen community engagement and understanding of the qualitative and quantitative relationships between urb...

Measured Visualizations for the Cambie Corridor

In 2010, the City of Vancouver proposed the Cambie Corridor Plan to guide land use, density and public realm change along the recently completed Canada Line rapid transit corridor.  To support the City’s public engagement process, elementslab partnered with City of Vancouver staff to develop a series of measured visualizations of proposed land uses, building types, densities and heights along the corridor to help staff, elected officials and the ...

Spatial Sustainability Indicators in Community Design

Indicators are conceptual tools to measure progress toward (or away from) a goal or objective. Their role is to ‘indicate’ performance and provide a basis for setting targets or comparing alternative means to achieve a target. In community design, indicators play a crucial translation role between aspirations and concepts (“big picture visioning”) and implementable actions, including the design and spatial arrangement of infrastructure, buildings...

Teaching with elementsdb

elementsdb: Engaging students with the environmental dimensions of urban design via the web “Engaging students with the environmental dimensions of urban design via the web” applies, evaluates, and expands elementsdb in courses and design studios at UBC. Current students are digitally sophisticated and tend to prefer digital reference information, particularly resources that are interactive or can be manipulated. Students who study urban susta...

the lab

elementslab is an applied research group in the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. The lab develops methods and tools of measured visualizations for public engagement in community planning & design.

the lab

elementslab is an applied research group in the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. The lab develops methods and tools of measured visualizations for public engagement in community planning & design.

Visualizing Urban Futures

Over the past decade, a variety of provincial, metropolitan and local initiatives have been launched to enable Canada’s urban regions to become more sustainable in environmental, economic, and social terms. These initiatives are transformative in nature and demand persuasive evidence that public priorities and resource allocations can and must be aligned if more sustainable cities are to be realized. This project with partners at the Universities...

Wesbrook Place: A Case Study

Wesbrook Place, a new development at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada is notable for bringing a residential neighborhood to a commuter campus and concurrently committing to developing a sustainable community. This post-occupancy study looks at Wesbrook Place nine years after construction began and six years after the first residents moved in. In this study, we evaluated Wesbrook Place against its own goals and targets re...

Graduate Thesis Projects

Lab-related Graduate Thesis Projects 2015 Ignacio Mingo, ‘A Path toward Re-generative Architecture’, Master of Advanced Studies in Landscape Architecture. Supervisors: Ronald Kellett (Chair) Joe Dahmen (Architecture) and Michel Labrie (Local Practice Architecture + Design). In progress. Negin Shakibi, ‘A Proposed Framework for Analyzing the Spatial Organization of Urban Open Space Networks: Case studies of Tehran and Isfahan, Iran’, Mast...

Measured Visualizations for UBCO

elementslab supported UBC Campus and Community Planning (C+CP) by mapping, measuring and visualizing the proposed future UBCO Campus Masterplan to assess it against 1) baseline conditions and 2) City of Kelowna Zoning regulations regarding total land cover and 3) walkability to/from key campus locations. Metrics were spatially based and linked to the C+CP defined program, principles and strategies. We primarily measured existing versus propose...

Climate Smart, Community Wise

climateSMART communityWISE is an educational web project about community planning for climate change mitigation in a Columbia Basin community. Visitors to the site experience an interactive introduction to energy and emissions issues in Columbia Basin communities and are then invited to explore these issues through a simulation of four alternative ways to add 500 new residents in a prototypical community. Users can explore options through aeri...

elementsdb+ CityEngine

elementsdb+ CityEngine is an adaptation of elementsdb cases to CityEngine, the three-dimensional (3D) procedural modeling environment developed by ESRI. This prototype uses CityEngine's parametric rule structure to automates the adaptation, replication and visualization of the geometric attributes of elementsdb cases to local site planning rules such as parcel size, orientation, building height, coverage and setbacks. Case parameters may be refin...

elementsdb+ TouchTable

The elementsdb TouchTable is a prototype urban design visualization and engagement tool developed with colleagues in computer science at the University of British Columbia to create an accessible, interactive and transparent means to engage diverse audiences — planners, designers and the public, for example — in the task of generating and testing urban planning and design options. This tool includes two interfaces — a large touch screen user inte...

Marpole Measured Visualizations

elementslab provided workshops and urban design metrics and visualizations of contemplated land use planning in support of the ongoing Marpole Community Plan. The work elevates understandings of the city’s land use proposals for staff, city council, and community stakeholders. This was a uniquely collaborative process between UBC researchers and city of Vancouver staff including two interactive workshops to test and measure alternative planning s...

20 Canadian Open Spaces

In 2009, Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation supported the addition of 20 CSLA award-winning open spaces in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal to elementsdb. We selected projects that represented: small public spaces, neighbourhood parks, community parks and centers, waterfronts, urban plazas, and natural areas. We conduct field visits to all cases, thus limited our documentation to locales where we had staff- Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal. As a...

Urban Metabolism

A LiDAR-based Urban Metabolism Approach to neighbourhood scale energy and carbon emissions modeling is used in estimating carbon emissions in a 2km square study area in Vancouver. A baseline carbon flow in the study area was measured from empirical data gathered at a carbon flux tower. Component carbon flows were spatially attributed to buildings, transportation, humans, food and waste, and vegetation and soils via remote sensing methods, utility...

BC Hydro Theatre

  BC Hydro Theatre The BC Hydro Theatre at the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability at the University of British Columbia is a flexible perception-testing and community engagement facility featuring advanced visualization and interaction technologies to engage audiences in simulations of sustainability scenarios. elementslab is a participating and contributing research group to the Theatre. Our work will develop and test in...

UniverCity

UniverCity at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC evaluates the first phase of a new self-proclaimed sustainable development adjacent to Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, eight years after construction began and five years after residents first moved in. UniverCity is instructive because it adopted many physical design parameters common to New Urbanist communities and it is a low-impact development. This case study integrates metrics...

PICS Revelstoke

Measured visualizations as catalysts for mobilization: Public engagement in municipal planning for climate change was a two-year (2011 – 2012) social mobilization research project funded by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (http://www.pics.uvic.ca/) . This work developed and tested new methods of 3-d modeling and visualization to deepen community engagement and understanding of the qualitative and quantitative relationships between urb...

Measured Visualizations for the Cambie Corridor

In 2010, the City of Vancouver proposed the Cambie Corridor Plan to guide land use, density and public realm change along the recently completed Canada Line rapid transit corridor.  To support the City’s public engagement process, elementslab partnered with City of Vancouver staff to develop a series of measured visualizations of proposed land uses, building types, densities and heights along the corridor to help staff, elected officials and the ...

Spatial Sustainability Indicators in Community Design

Indicators are conceptual tools to measure progress toward (or away from) a goal or objective. Their role is to ‘indicate’ performance and provide a basis for setting targets or comparing alternative means to achieve a target. In community design, indicators play a crucial translation role between aspirations and concepts (“big picture visioning”) and implementable actions, including the design and spatial arrangement of infrastructure, buildings...

Teaching with elementsdb

elementsdb: Engaging students with the environmental dimensions of urban design via the web “Engaging students with the environmental dimensions of urban design via the web” applies, evaluates, and expands elementsdb in courses and design studios at UBC. Current students are digitally sophisticated and tend to prefer digital reference information, particularly resources that are interactive or can be manipulated. Students who study urban susta...

the lab

elementslab is an applied research group in the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. The lab develops methods and tools of measured visualizations for public engagement in community planning & design.