Value Densification Community Mapping Project

Dec 01, 2008

The focus of the project is to create a comprehensive tool that can support community design and development policy decisions.

The goal of the Value Densification Community Mapping Project (VDCmp) is to build on Phase I results and continue to explore how aspects of the post-industrial city can be understood, communicated, and leveraged in service of equity and sustainability, and to use technology to reveal data about the city in order to convince community, political, and economic leadership to embrace a broader interpretation of value. The primary intent is to prompt a new way of interpreting, illustrating, and leveraging distinctly urban assets and, in doing so, positively influence future urban form. A diverse team of architects, urbanists, planners, and civil engineers are collaborating to create a unique “free-ware” digital interface utilizing Google Earth, Sketch Up, and ERSI ArcGIS to model both physical and social density utilizing a variety of data sets in Southwest Detroit, MI, USA. The resultant digital interface empowers the community through asset identification and creation of an accessible tool to assist in envisioning its environmental, social, and economic future. The VDC digital interface is unique in that it models “social exchanges” in three dimensions, and allows the user to overlay social and infrastructure layers with physical density.

In 2008, with funding from the AIA and LISC, the VDCmp expanded the Research Team and continued to engage the nonprofit groups in Southwest Detroit as community client to determine how they can best utilize data and mapping as planning, design, development, and evaluative tools. The focus of Phase II has been on creating a comprehensive tool that can support community design and development policy decisions. Community members have become active partners in evolving the digital interface as a tool for strategic planning at the agency/organization, coalition, city and regional levels.

Constance C. Bodurow, Assoc. AIA, AICP (Lawrence Technological University)
Alan Hoback, PE (University of Detroit Mercy)
Jordan Martin (Lawrence Technological University)
Calvin Creech, PE, LEED AP (Lawrence Technological University)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
The American Institute of Architects

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