3D virtual reality has swiftly evolved into much more than dodging zombies in a virtual headset apocalypse. Since 2009, Brisbane City Council has spearheaded the development of Virtual Brisbane, an innovative, computer-generated 3D model that plays a vital role in helping Council plan for Brisbane’s growth. Virtual Brisbane can analyse and visualise the city in its past, present and potential future forms.
The Virtual Brisbane 3D model currently spans a five kilometre inner-city radius from the CBD as well as Chermside, Nundah, Northshore Hamilton and Upper Mount Gravatt growth corridors. This coverage is equivalent to more than 3,300 Gabba-sized sports stadiums placed side by side!
This 3D model is created by converting thousands of bespoke aerial images into geospatially-accurate and photo-realistic 3D digital buildings. An aerial survey is flown every two years to update the 3D model to accurately represent Brisbane’s evolving skyline.
Virtual Brisbane plays a part in Council’s future strategic planning, development assessment and community engagement activities. For example, when assessing a multi-story development application, Council officers can use the model to accurately measure impacts of height, orientation and design, such as shadowing and line of sight.
Virtual Brisbane scenario modelling not only helps inform Council’s urban planning and development strategies, but also includes Brisbane’s residents on the journey. Immersive 3D renders and video fly-throughs of projects and initiatives are promoted on Council’s social media channels and at consultation events, to help engage the community and ensure residents understand Brisbane’s development potential.
Laser scanning and unmanned aerial vehicle 3D model generation is currently being trialled, to further enhance Virtual Brisbane.
By delivering on strong plans now, with a vision that looks to the future, Council is improving quality of life for residents while ensuring our city meets the needs of future generations.