Special Issue "The Applications of 3D-City Models in Urban Studies"

A special issue of ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information (ISSN 2220-9964).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Volker Coors
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Applied Research, HFT Stuttgart, Faculty of Surveying, Computer Science and Mathematics, Schellingstr. 24, 70174 Stuttgart, Germany
Interests: 3D city models; 3D geospatial data infrastructure; smart cities; urban informatics; urban simulation; 3D geovisualization; Web3D; visual analytics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cities are facing a digital transformation. This transformation pro­cess becomes visible through the concept of “smart cities”. Smart cities use information and communication technolo­gies for a sustainable, social, and ecological design of public space. Urban data have become a resource of high interest for a multitude of applications. Examples therefore are urban mobility, environmental and climate protection, waste man­agement, sustainable use of energy, and the provision of city administration services. Smart services, smart data, and 3D city modeling are terms that stand for the future tasks of a dig­ital economy and society.  

The data made available in Smart Cities lead to new ways in urban data analytics and urban studies. This Special Issue aims at collecting examples of original research in urban studies using 3D city and landscape models. In many cases, the 3D city model is following the OGC standard CityGML, but research using other data models such as CityJSON, OSM, etc. is appreciated as well. The focus will be the additional value of 3D and sensor data that enable data-driven methodologies to find new solutions to urban issues such as transportation, energy demand, urban climate, air quality, flooding, safety, citizens perception/emotional maps, and the social city. Submissions which cover but are not limited to these topics are highly welcome.

Prof. Dr. Volker Coors
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • 3D city models/CityGML in urban studies
    • Traffic and micromobility simulation
    • Urban energy simulation
    • Air quality monitoring in urban areas
    • Urban climate simulation
    • Noise pollution
    • Flooding in urban areas
    • Safety
    • The emotional city
    • The social city
  • Urban informatics
  • Sensor data integration
  • Systems for public participation
  • Urban dashboard design and implementation
  • Geovisualization devoted to urban problems

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Using Climate-Sensitive 3D City Modeling to Analyze Outdoor Thermal Comfort in Urban Areas
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(11), 688; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9110688 - 19 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1347
Abstract
With increasing urbanization, climate change poses an unprecedented threat, and climate-sensitive urban management is highly demanded. Mitigating climate change undoubtedly requires smarter urban design tools and techniques than ever before. With the continuous evolution of geospatial technologies and an added benefit of analyzing [...] Read more.
With increasing urbanization, climate change poses an unprecedented threat, and climate-sensitive urban management is highly demanded. Mitigating climate change undoubtedly requires smarter urban design tools and techniques than ever before. With the continuous evolution of geospatial technologies and an added benefit of analyzing and virtually visualizing our world in three dimensions, the focus is now shifting from a traditional 2D to a more complicated 3D spatial design and assessment with increasing potential of supporting climate-responsive urban decisions. This paper focuses on using 3D city models to calculate the mean radiant temperature (Tmrt) as an outdoor thermal comfort indicator in terms of assessing the spatiotemporal distribution of heat stress on the district scale. The analysis is done to evaluate planning scenarios for a district transformation in Montreal/Canada. The research identifies a systematic workflow to assess and upgrade the outdoor thermal comfort using the contribution of ArcGIS CityEngine for 3D city modeling and the open-source model of solar longwave environmental irradiance geometry (SOLWEIG) as the climate assessment model. A statistically downscaled weather profile for the warmest year predicted before 2050 (2047) is used for climate data. The outcome shows the workflow capacity for the structured recognition of area under heat stress alongside supporting the efficient intervention, the tree placement as a passive strategy of heat mitigation. The adaptability of workflow with the various urban scale makes it an effective response to the technical challenges of urban designers for decision-making and action planning. However, the discovered technical issues in data conversion and wall surface albedo processing call for the climate assessment model improvement as future demand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Applications of 3D-City Models in Urban Studies)
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Article
A Continuous, Semi-Automated Workflow: From 3D City Models with Geometric Optimization and CFD Simulations to Visualization of Wind in an Urban Environment
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(11), 657; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9110657 - 31 Oct 2020
Viewed by 1052
Abstract
The concept and implementation of Smart Cities is an important approach to improve decision making as well as quality of life of the growing urban population. An essential part of this is the presentation of data from different sources within a digital city [...] Read more.
The concept and implementation of Smart Cities is an important approach to improve decision making as well as quality of life of the growing urban population. An essential part of this is the presentation of data from different sources within a digital city model. Wind flow at building scale has a strong impact on many health and energy issues in a city. For the analysis of urban wind, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has become an established tool, but requires specialist knowledge to prepare the geometric input during a time-consuming process. Results are available only as predefined selections of pictures or videos. In this article, a continuous, semi-automated workflow is presented, which ❶ speeds-up the preparation of CFD simulation models using a largely automated geometry optimization; and ❷ enables web-based interactive exploration of urban wind simulations to a large and diverse audience, including experts and layman. Results are evaluated based on a case study using a part of a district in Stuttgart in terms of: ➀ time saving of the CFD model preparation workflow (85% faster than the manual method), ➁ response time measurements of different data formats within the Smart City platform (3D Tiles loaded 30% faster than geoJSON using the same data representations) and ➂ protocols (3DPS provided much higher flexibility than static and 3D container API), as well as ➃ subjective user experience analysis of various visualization schemes of urban wind. Time saving for the model optimization may, however, vary depending on the data quality and the extent of the study area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Applications of 3D-City Models in Urban Studies)
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Article
ELiT, Multifunctional Web-Software for Feature Extraction from 3D LiDAR Point Clouds
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(11), 650; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9110650 - 29 Oct 2020
Viewed by 1042
Abstract
Our research presents a complete R&D cycle—from the urban terrain generation and feature extraction by raw LiDAR data processing, through visualizing a huge number of urban features, and till applied thematic use cases based on these features extracted and modeled. Firstly, the paper [...] Read more.
Our research presents a complete R&D cycle—from the urban terrain generation and feature extraction by raw LiDAR data processing, through visualizing a huge number of urban features, and till applied thematic use cases based on these features extracted and modeled. Firstly, the paper focuses on the original contribution to algorithmic solutions concerning the fully automated extraction of building models with the urban terrain generation. Topography modeling and extraction of buildings, as two key constituents of the robust algorithmic pipeline, have been examined. The architectural scheme of the multifunctional software family—EOS LIDAR Tool (ELiT) has been presented with characteristics of its key functionalities and examples of a user interface. Both desktop, and web server software, as well as a cloud-based application, ELiT Geoportal (EGP), as an entity for online geospatial services, have been elaborated on the base of the approach presented. Further emphasis on the web-visualization with Cesium 3D Tiles has demonstrated the original algorithm for efficient feature visualizing though the EGP locations. Summarizing presentation of two thematic use-cases has finalized this research, demonstrating those applied tasks, which can be efficiently resolved with the workflow presented. A necessity of a conclusive workflow elaboration for use cases, which would be based on the actual semantics, has been emphasized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Applications of 3D-City Models in Urban Studies)
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Article
Urban Water Demand Simulation in Residential and Non-Residential Buildings Based on a CityGML Data Model
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(11), 642; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9110642 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1375
Abstract
Humans’ activities in urban areas put a strain on local water resources. This paper introduces a method to accurately simulate the stress urban water demand in Germany puts on local resources on a single-building level, and scalable to regional levels without loss of [...] Read more.
Humans’ activities in urban areas put a strain on local water resources. This paper introduces a method to accurately simulate the stress urban water demand in Germany puts on local resources on a single-building level, and scalable to regional levels without loss of detail. The method integrates building geometry, building physics, census, socio-economy and meteorological information to provide a general approach to assessing water demands that also overcome obstacles on data aggregation and processing imposed by data privacy guidelines. Three German counties were used as validation cases to prove the feasibility of the presented approach: on average, per capita water demand and aggregated water demand deviates by less than 7% from real demand data. Scenarios applied to a case region Ludwigsburg in Germany, which takes the increment of water price, aging of the population and the climate change into account, show that the residential water demand has the change of −2%, +7% and −0.4% respectively. The industrial water demand increases by 46% due to the development of economy indicated by GDP per capita. The rise of precipitation and temperature raise the water demand in non-residential buildings (excluding industry) of 1%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Applications of 3D-City Models in Urban Studies)
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Article
Detailed Streetspace Modelling for Multiple Applications: Discussions on the Proposed CityGML 3.0 Transportation Model
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(10), 603; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9100603 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1576
Abstract
In the context of smart cities and digital twins, three-dimensional semantic city models are increasingly used for the analyses of large urban areas. While the representation of buildings, terrain, and vegetation has become standard for most city models, detailed spatio-semantic representations of streetspace [...] Read more.
In the context of smart cities and digital twins, three-dimensional semantic city models are increasingly used for the analyses of large urban areas. While the representation of buildings, terrain, and vegetation has become standard for most city models, detailed spatio-semantic representations of streetspace have played a minor role so far. This is now changing (1) because of data availability, and (2) because recent and emerging applications require having detailed data about the streetspace. The upcoming version 3.0 of the international standard CityGML provides a substantially updated data model regarding the transportation infrastructure, including the representation of the streetspace. However, there already exist a number of other standards and data formats dealing with the representation and exchange of streetspace data. Thus, based on an extensive literature review of potential applications as well as discussions and collaborations with relevant stakeholders, seven key modelling aspects of detailed streetspace models are identified. This allows a structured discussion of representational capabilities of the proposed CityGML3.0 Transportation Model with respect to these aspects and in comparison to the other standards. Subsequently, it is shown that CityGML3.0 meets most of these aspects and that streetspace models can be derived from various data sources and for different cities. Models generated compliant to the CityGML standard are immediately usable for a number of applications. This is demonstrated for some applications, such as land use management, solar potential analyses, and traffic and pedestrian simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Applications of 3D-City Models in Urban Studies)
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Article
Concept and Evaluation of Heating Demand Prediction Based on 3D City Models and the CityGML Energy ADE—Case Study Helsinki
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(10), 602; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9100602 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1109
Abstract
This work presents a concept for heating demand and resulting CO2 emissions prediction based on a 3D city model in CityGML format in various scenarios under the consideration of a changing climate. In the case study of Helsinki, the Helsinki Energy and [...] Read more.
This work presents a concept for heating demand and resulting CO2 emissions prediction based on a 3D city model in CityGML format in various scenarios under the consideration of a changing climate. In the case study of Helsinki, the Helsinki Energy and Climate Atlas, that provides detailed information for individual buildings conducting the heating demand, is integrated into the 3D city model using the CityGML Energy Application Domain Extension (Energy ADE) to provide energy-relevant information based on a standardized data model stored in a CityGML database, called 3DCityDB. The simulation environment SimStadt is extended to retrieve the information stored within the Energy ADE schema, use it during simulations, and write simulation results back to the 3DCityDB. Due to climate change, a heating demand reduction of 4% per decade is predicted. By 2035, a reduction of 0.7 TWh is calculated in the normal and of 1.5 TWh in the advanced refurbishment scenario. Including the proposed improvements of the district heating network, heating CO2 emissions are predicted to be reduced by up to 82% by 2035 compared to 1990. The City of Helsinki’s assumed heating demand reduction through the modernization of 2.0 TWh/a by 2035 is not achieved with a 3% refurbishment rate. Furthermore, the reduction of CO2 emissions is mainly achieved through lower CO2 emission factors of the district heating network in Helsinki. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Applications of 3D-City Models in Urban Studies)
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Article
The City of Tomorrow from… the Data of Today
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(9), 554; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9090554 - 16 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1544
Abstract
In urban planning, a common unit of measure for housing density is the number of households per hectare. However, the actual size of the physical space occupied by a household, i.e., a dwelling, is seldom considered, neither in 2D nor in 3D. This [...] Read more.
In urban planning, a common unit of measure for housing density is the number of households per hectare. However, the actual size of the physical space occupied by a household, i.e., a dwelling, is seldom considered, neither in 2D nor in 3D. This article proposes a methodology to estimate the average size of a dwelling in existing urban areas from available open data, and to use it as one of the design parameters for new urban-development projects. The proposed unit of measure, called “living space”, includes outdoor and indoor spaces. The idea is to quantitatively analyze the city of today to help design the city of tomorrow. First, the “typical”-dwelling size and a series of Key Performance Indicators are computed for all neighborhoods from a semantic 3D city model and other spatial and non-spatial datasets. A limited number of neighborhoods is selected based on their similarities with the envisioned development plan. The size of the living space of the selected neighborhoods is successively used as a design parameter to support the computer-assisted generation of several design proposals. Each proposal can be exported, shared, and visualized online. As a test case, a to-be-planned neighborhood in Amsterdam, called “Sloterdijk One”, has been chosen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Applications of 3D-City Models in Urban Studies)
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Article
Evaluating the Influence of Urban Morphology on Urban Wind Environment Based on Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(6), 399; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9060399 - 17 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1096
Abstract
Due to urbanization around the world, people living in urban areas have been suffering from a series of negative effects caused by changes in urban microclimate, especially when it comes to urban heat islands (UHIs). To mitigate UHIs, management of urban wind environments [...] Read more.
Due to urbanization around the world, people living in urban areas have been suffering from a series of negative effects caused by changes in urban microclimate, especially when it comes to urban heat islands (UHIs). To mitigate UHIs, management of urban wind environments is increasingly considered as a crucial part of the process. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of wind fields has become a prevailing method to explore the relationship between morphological factors and wind environment. However, most studies are focused on building scale and fail to reflect the effects of comprehensive planning. In addition, the combined influence of different morphological factors on wind environment is rarely discussed. Therefore, this study tries to explore the relationship between urban morphology and wind environment in a new-town area. CFD method was applied to simulate the wind field, and 11 scenarios based on criteria according to existing literature, planning regulations and local characteristics were developed. The simulation results from different scenarios show that the impact of the five selected factors on wind speeds was non-linear, and the impact varied significantly among different areas of the study region. Simulation of the differences in regional wind speeds among different planning scenarios can provide strong decision-making support. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Applications of 3D-City Models in Urban Studies)
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