New Initiative Brings 3D Planning to the Public

Eric Jaffe writes on a new interactive planning initiative in Louisville, Kentucky, that takes a hands-on approach to public engagement.

Vision Louisville aims "to collect the very best ideas for how the city should develop over the next 25 years, 'emphasizing growth, authenticity, preservation, sustainability, and quality of place.'"

The initiative's kick-off event was the annual Ideas Festival, where the LVL1 hackerspace coordinated the use of 3D printers to produce 1/1000 scale models of buildings for the public to touch and move around on a map of the city, summoning their inner planner. The hands-on approach, claims Mayor Greg Fischer, is integral to engaging the public in deciding the future of their city. "We've got to engage not only the people who think about this everyday but somebody who might be thinking about it for the first time," says Fischer.

Mayor Fischer hopes for a vision that includes a revitalized downtown and a booming local food industry. More than just creating an enjoyable city for residents and tourists, writes Jaffe, Fischer aims to address sustainability and build a foundation for the city's future. States Fischer, "There are interesting questions about what a sustainable city looks like 25 years from now, a digital city, a global city. We're jumping into all those topics with great enthusiasm."

The best ideas generated through this first stage of the initiative will be added to the city's project list and the printers will be donated to local libraries and science centers.

Full Story: In Louisville, Urban Planning Goes 3D

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