The role of visualisation in effective sustainability assessment
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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.