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Modelling Cities in 3d with Google Sketchup (Free)

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  • jackskellin9ton
    Hi, Just wondering if anyone else has tried modelling towns and cities in 3d with Google Sketchup, a (fairly) easy to learn 3d modelling program you can
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 5, 2008
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      Hi,



      Just wondering if anyone else has tried modelling towns and cities in 3d
      with Google Sketchup, a (fairly) easy to learn 3d modelling program you
      can download for free at

      http://sketchup.google.com/ <http://sketchup.google.com/>

      You could import, say, one of Joel's district designs and rescale it.
      Then you just draw around the edges of the blocks, use the offset tool
      to draw the inside of the blocks automatically, and then use the
      push/pull tool to make them 3d with 1 click. And once you've finished,
      you can go for a 'walk' around.

      I've just finished modelling my eco-town with it. You can see a pic of
      the whole town at

      http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/index.htm
      <http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/index.htm\
      >

      or zoomed in pics at

      http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/density.ht\
      m
      <http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/density.h\
      tm>



      Chris B



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Markus Heller
      Hi Chris B, if I understand your eco town design correctly, all the grey streets between the row houses are for private cars. That would mean, there is no
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 5, 2008
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        Hi Chris B,

        if I understand your eco town design correctly, all the grey streets between
        the row houses are for private cars. That would mean, there is no reason for
        carfree people to move in such a town. It seems your focus was only on
        separating cars from pedestrians.
        That`s nice, but I would not move in a such a town, it`s quite similar to my
        small street where I live: in front I have a conventional small street, with
        very few and slow cars, and my back yard is carfree (even without passing
        pedestrians). So your design is no improvement of my situation, rather the
        opposite ...

        Beside that, I expect that your separation idea would create less safety.
        Please consider this under the experiences of the Shared Space idea: They
        mix all traffic modes together in the same street, remove all signs, and
        that forces the people to take care for each other ... separation makes car
        drivers care-less, that`s what we learned the last hundred years.

        What I want instead, is a real carfree town, or quarter, where the (still
        necessary) streets are dedicated only for exceptions like emergency
        services, police, maybe the transport of waste, and big deliveries (all
        these kind of exceptions, until we find better solutions). In that case
        extra paved lanes for pedestrians are not necessary. (But still possible, of
        course.)

        Another point: As your whole town is still designed for the needs of car
        owners, that means at the end, mobility services (bike rent, hand carriage
        rent, etcetera) are not economic, because not enough carfree people (if any)
        would live in your town. And the car owners will use their cars as long as
        it is possible and as long as they reach every destination, like in your
        design ...

        Maybe it is a cultural thing: In Europe "carfree" means: "no car", or
        sometimes "all cars at the edge" (btw, that`s only "optically carfree"). I
        was very surprised to hear from a case in US where "carfree" was used for
        "only one car" (instead of two or more cars before).

        - ?

        We know that politicians and developpers use the term "eco town" for every
        group of buildings with some solar panels on the roof, but in my personal
        view, this term should be reserved for the real thing - without private
        cars. We may debate about Car Sharing and Taxis, but at the end, the
        ownership of the private car is the crucial point.

        Sorry for beeing so direct (or misunderstandings ?), but we need to move
        towards carfree cities !

        thanks for understanding, best

        Markus Heller, Berlin
        Carfree Living Berlin Collaborative
        www.autofrei-wohnen.de

        P.S.: see examples of carfree developments in my recent presentation:
        http://www.carfree.org.uk/040


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: jackskellin9ton
        To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2008 4:47 PM
        Subject: [carfree_cities] Modelling Cities in 3d with Google Sketchup (Free)

        Hi,

        Just wondering if anyone else has tried modelling towns and cities in 3d
        with Google Sketchup, a (fairly) easy to learn 3d modelling program you
        can download for free at

        http://sketchup.google.com/

        You could import, say, one of Joel's district designs and rescale it.
        Then you just draw around the edges of the blocks, use the offset tool
        to draw the inside of the blocks automatically, and then use the
        push/pull tool to make them 3d with 1 click. And once you've finished,
        you can go for a 'walk' around.

        I've just finished modelling my eco-town with it. You can see a pic of
        the whole town at

        http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/index.htm
        or zoomed in pics at

        http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/density.htm


        Chris B
      • jackskellin9ton
        Hi Markus, My website is a response to the UK government s plans to build 10 new eco-towns. Now if they were going to make all 10 completely carfree then that
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 6, 2008
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          Hi Markus,


          My website is a response to the UK government's plans to build 10 new
          eco-towns.

          Now if they were going to make all 10 completely carfree then that
          would be brilliant. But, being rather pessimistic by nature, I'm
          guessing we'll get at most 2 carfree eco-towns and 8 - 10 towns with
          pedestrian centres surrounded by houses with driveways.

          My website is basically showing the government what to do with these
          8 - 10 non-carfree towns.

          I don't like the shared space idea. One of the main problems with
          car-focused developments is the vicious circle of the more people
          drive, the worse public transport, walking and cycling become, so
          even more people drive.

          My design keeps the pedestrian network functioning well no matter how
          many people drive.

          And driving cars around the town would absolutely be discouraged.
          Parking outside of your own driveway would be expensive, particularly
          in the central car parks which are there mainly for residents of the
          carfree centre. And roads are low capacity, slow and almost always
          very indirect.

          Cars would be mainly for travelling outside of the town. As much as
          I love public transport, UK public transport outside of London is
          pretty terrible. And of course there'd be car sharing.

          Also, from a design point of view, I figure it's easier to take roads
          away, making some of the town's streets completely carfree, than it
          is to put them in later.

          So to sum up, if you're going to build carfree towns and cities, then
          you should build them first. If you're not, I'd much prefer a design
          like mine with carfree streets than to share my path with cars.


          Chris


          --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Markus Heller" <heller@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Hi Chris B,
          >
          > if I understand your eco town design correctly, all the grey
          streets between
          > the row houses are for private cars. That would mean, there is no
          reason for
          > carfree people to move in such a town. It seems your focus was only
          on
          > separating cars from pedestrians.
          > That`s nice, but I would not move in a such a town, it`s quite
          similar to my
          > small street where I live: in front I have a conventional small
          street, with
          > very few and slow cars, and my back yard is carfree (even without
          passing
          > pedestrians). So your design is no improvement of my situation,
          rather the
          > opposite ...
          >
          > Beside that, I expect that your separation idea would create less
          safety.
          > Please consider this under the experiences of the Shared Space
          idea: They
          > mix all traffic modes together in the same street, remove all
          signs, and
          > that forces the people to take care for each other ... separation
          makes car
          > drivers care-less, that`s what we learned the last hundred years.
          >
          > What I want instead, is a real carfree town, or quarter, where the
          (still
          > necessary) streets are dedicated only for exceptions like emergency
          > services, police, maybe the transport of waste, and big deliveries
          (all
          > these kind of exceptions, until we find better solutions). In that
          case
          > extra paved lanes for pedestrians are not necessary. (But still
          possible, of
          > course.)
          >
          > Another point: As your whole town is still designed for the needs
          of car
          > owners, that means at the end, mobility services (bike rent, hand
          carriage
          > rent, etcetera) are not economic, because not enough carfree people
          (if any)
          > would live in your town. And the car owners will use their cars as
          long as
          > it is possible and as long as they reach every destination, like in
          your
          > design ...
          >
          > Maybe it is a cultural thing: In Europe "carfree" means: "no car",
          or
          > sometimes "all cars at the edge" (btw, that`s only "optically
          carfree"). I
          > was very surprised to hear from a case in US where "carfree" was
          used for
          > "only one car" (instead of two or more cars before).
          >
          > - ?
          >
          > We know that politicians and developpers use the term "eco town"
          for every
          > group of buildings with some solar panels on the roof, but in my
          personal
          > view, this term should be reserved for the real thing - without
          private
          > cars. We may debate about Car Sharing and Taxis, but at the end, the
          > ownership of the private car is the crucial point.
          >
          > Sorry for beeing so direct (or misunderstandings ?), but we need to
          move
          > towards carfree cities !
          >
          > thanks for understanding, best
          >
          > Markus Heller, Berlin
          > Carfree Living Berlin Collaborative
          > www.autofrei-wohnen.de
          >
          > P.S.: see examples of carfree developments in my recent
          presentation:
          > http://www.carfree.org.uk/040
        • Ed Beale
          Hi Chris, I have just read through the whole of your ecotownZ website. I think it is great and very comprehensive in covering all the issues. I agree that this
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 6, 2008
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            Hi Chris,

            I have just read through the whole of your ecotownZ website. I think
            it is great and very comprehensive in covering all the issues. I
            agree that this town form would be very much preferable to what we
            currently have in Britain, but that a fully carfree city would be
            still better. Of the different layouts you show, I prefer Alternate
            Design #2
            (http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/more/car-lite_eco-town.htm)
            because it separates out the car parking so that people don't have
            individual driveways and a car sat right outside their house. I think
            it's likely that far more people would then decide to live completely
            without a car, or would use a car club, especially if the eco town
            centre has good rail links further afield. Also, as you mention, this
            design would be easier to convert to be completely carfree, either in
            its entirety, or in one or more carfree quarters.

            Best Wishes,
            Ed

            Ed Beale
            Carfree UK
            http://www.carfree.org.uk/


            --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "jackskellin9ton"
            <jackskellin9ton@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > Hi,
            >
            >
            >
            > Just wondering if anyone else has tried modelling towns and cities in 3d
            > with Google Sketchup, a (fairly) easy to learn 3d modelling program you
            > can download for free at
            >
            > http://sketchup.google.com/ <http://sketchup.google.com/>
            >
            > You could import, say, one of Joel's district designs and rescale it.
            > Then you just draw around the edges of the blocks, use the offset tool
            > to draw the inside of the blocks automatically, and then use the
            > push/pull tool to make them 3d with 1 click. And once you've finished,
            > you can go for a 'walk' around.
            >
            > I've just finished modelling my eco-town with it. You can see a pic of
            > the whole town at
            >
            > http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/index.htm
            >
            <http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/index.htm\
            > >
            >
            > or zoomed in pics at
            >
            >
            http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/density.ht\
            > m
            >
            <http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/density.h\
            > tm>
            >
            >
            >
            > Chris B
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • jackskellin9ton
            Just wanted to say thanks to Markus and Ed for their input. You re right. I got so carried away trying to sell carfree towns and cities to the car driving
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 7, 2008
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              Just wanted to say thanks to Markus and Ed for their input.

              You're right. I got so carried away trying to sell carfree towns and
              cities to the car driving masses that I forgot about the hardcore. :)

              I'll be adding a car-lite/carfree section soon.

              Cheers,

              Chris
            • spenniec
              Hi Chris I have just started using Sketchup and am a big fan of the software and Joel s vision of a car free city. My view is that means NO cars. Pleople walk,
              Message 6 of 9 , Jan 14, 2009
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                Hi Chris
                I have just started using Sketchup and am a big fan of the software
                and Joel's vision of a car free city. My view is that means NO cars.
                Pleople walk, wheel, cycle or travel by train.
                I would be very interested in starting up a group/community to bring
                his vision to 'life' in 3D using Sketchup.
                Anyone else interested or knowing of an already similar project then
                please post.

                cheers
                Spencer

                --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "jackskellin9ton"
                <jackskellin9ton@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > Hi,
                >
                >
                >
                > Just wondering if anyone else has tried modelling towns and cities in 3d
                > with Google Sketchup, a (fairly) easy to learn 3d modelling program you
                > can download for free at
                >
                > http://sketchup.google.com/ <http://sketchup.google.com/>
                >
                > You could import, say, one of Joel's district designs and rescale it.
                > Then you just draw around the edges of the blocks, use the offset tool
                > to draw the inside of the blocks automatically, and then use the
                > push/pull tool to make them 3d with 1 click. And once you've finished,
                > you can go for a 'walk' around.
                >
                > I've just finished modelling my eco-town with it. You can see a pic of
                > the whole town at
                >
                > http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/index.htm
                >
                <http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/index.htm\
                > >
                >
                > or zoomed in pics at
                >
                >
                http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/density.ht\
                > m
                >
                <http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/density.h\
                > tm>
                >
                >
                >
                > Chris B
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • J.H. Crawford
                ... I ve been thinking about this project for more than ten years. Part of the work was done recently by Procedural, a Swiss outfit that released software to
                Message 7 of 9 , Jan 15, 2009
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                  Spencer said:


                  >I have just started using Sketchup and am a big fan of the software
                  >and Joel's vision of a car free city. My view is that means NO cars.
                  >Pleople walk, wheel, cycle or travel by train.
                  >I would be very interested in starting up a group/community to bring
                  >his vision to 'life' in 3D using Sketchup.
                  >Anyone else interested or knowing of an already similar project then
                  >please post.

                  I've been thinking about this project for more than ten
                  years. Part of the work was done recently by Procedural,
                  a Swiss outfit that released software to construct detailed
                  virtual cities. (The film industry is very interested.)
                  The stuff costs $7000. There's a free 30-day trial. I'm
                  waiting until the decks are clear, so that I can spend
                  every minute of 30 days with it.

                  I want to automate the process, with a page or two of inputs
                  that allow you to specify a whole range of parameters along
                  with the range of random variation for each parameter. Each
                  time you press the button you get a different city, even with
                  the same inputs.

                  Outputs would include 2D and later 3D graphics plus a thorough
                  statistical summary of the result, including resource inputs
                  required to build and operate the city.

                  http://www.procedural.com/

                  http://www.nlynch.com/pages/47/procedural_city_builder/

                  http://www.3daet.com/pages/805/l-system_city/


                  So, yeah, consider me interested.

                  Best,

                  Joel





                  ----- ### -----
                  J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                  mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                • J.H. Crawford
                  Hi again, Add to links on this: http://www.gamesitb.com/SurveyProcedural.pdf Best, Joel ... J.H. Crawford Carfree
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jan 15, 2009
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                    Hi again,

                    Add to links on this:

                    http://www.gamesitb.com/SurveyProcedural.pdf

                    Best,

                    Joel


                    ----- ### -----
                    J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                    mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                  • spenniec
                    Very intersting! The ability to use procedural methods to generate streets and buildings would certainly save a lot of time. I ll download the software this
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jan 15, 2009
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                      Very intersting!
                      The ability to use procedural methods to generate streets and
                      buildings would certainly save a lot of time.
                      I'll download the software this evening.
                      $7000 certainly puts it out of the reach of a community to purchase.
                      They have some pretty good press, however it looks like a new product
                      and there's nothing like a good showcase of what your product can do
                      along with some great publicity which could definitely be generated.
                      What are the thoughts on sending them an email asking for an unlimited
                      copy for free? They'll want assurances that we aren't going to spread
                      it around the internet or benefit from it commercially, purely for it
                      to showcase a vision of post car cities.
                      If you don't ask, you don't get :-)

                      cheers
                      Spencer


                      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > Spencer said:
                      >
                      >
                      > >I have just started using Sketchup and am a big fan of the software
                      > >and Joel's vision of a car free city. My view is that means NO cars.
                      > >Pleople walk, wheel, cycle or travel by train.
                      > >I would be very interested in starting up a group/community to bring
                      > >his vision to 'life' in 3D using Sketchup.
                      > >Anyone else interested or knowing of an already similar project then
                      > >please post.
                      >
                      > I've been thinking about this project for more than ten
                      > years. Part of the work was done recently by Procedural,
                      > a Swiss outfit that released software to construct detailed
                      > virtual cities. (The film industry is very interested.)
                      > The stuff costs $7000. There's a free 30-day trial. I'm
                      > waiting until the decks are clear, so that I can spend
                      > every minute of 30 days with it.
                      >
                      > I want to automate the process, with a page or two of inputs
                      > that allow you to specify a whole range of parameters along
                      > with the range of random variation for each parameter. Each
                      > time you press the button you get a different city, even with
                      > the same inputs.
                      >
                      > Outputs would include 2D and later 3D graphics plus a thorough
                      > statistical summary of the result, including resource inputs
                      > required to build and operate the city.
                      >
                      > http://www.procedural.com/
                      >
                      > http://www.nlynch.com/pages/47/procedural_city_builder/
                      >
                      > http://www.3daet.com/pages/805/l-system_city/
                      >
                      >
                      > So, yeah, consider me interested.
                      >
                      > Best,
                      >
                      > Joel
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > ----- ### -----
                      > J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                      > mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                      >
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