The role of visualisation in effective sustainability assessment

John P. Isaacs, David J. Blackwood, Ruth E. Falconer, Daniel J. Gilmour

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Sustainable decision making in urban design is a complex and non-linear process that requires the interaction of a wide variety of stakeholders. A number of sustainable decision support tools have previously been developed but a major barrier to the implementation of these tools is the complexity of the environment in which decisions are made. In particular, engagement with the general public throughout the decision making process presents challenges. These include communicating the complex and interdependent facets of sustainability and also demonstrating the short and long term implications of alternative courses of action.
This paper describes the underlying concepts of a prototype visualisation tool (S-City VT) that will allow stakeholders to understand, interact with and influence decisions made regarding sustainability of urban design. The Dundee Waterfront Development Project will be used as a case study. The SCity VT simulation will model the relationship between the various sustainability indicators and the effect of choosing a particular set of indicators will be brought to life through an animation-based simulation. The model can also be used to identify possible trade-offs between the facets of sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Whole Life Urban Sustainability and its Assessment
EditorsM. Horner, C. Hardcastle, A. Price, J. Bebbington
Place of PublicationGlasgow
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2007
EventSUE-MoT Conference 2007: International Conference on Whole Life Urban Sustainability and its Assessment - Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jun 200729 Jun 2007


ConferenceSUE-MoT Conference 2007
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Urban sustainability
  • Virtual city
  • Modelling
  • Visualisation


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