Urban Ecosystem Design

By Daniel Gerardo Aliaga

Purdue University

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We address the open problem of spatial distribution of vegetation in urban environments by introducing a user-guided simulation and procedural system for integrating plants into the interactive design process of 3D urban models. Our approach uses as input 3D geometry of an urban layout from which it infers initial conditions and parameters of procedural rules. A level of manageability is calculated for each area of the urban space. The manageability level defines the amount of influence between the wild ecosystem simulation, where the plants compete for resources and seed freely, and the managed ecosystem, where nearly no seeding is allowed and the plants grow only under well-defined conditions. The wild ecosystems are handled by a simulation of plant competition for resources, whereas the procedural generation is based on an expandable set of behavioral rules of owners and typical plant management. Our system provides an interactive semi-automatic method to calculate a spatial plant distribution and to create an urban model with plants covering an area of several square kilometers in less than a minute. It provides a high degree of controllability and works tightly with
an urban simulation system. We show various examples, such as plant development over time in managed and unmanaged areas, effect of procedural rules on the plant distribution, and the effect of changing the level of manageability and the plant distribution.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Daniel Gerardo Aliaga (2011), "Urban Ecosystem Design,"

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