​TU Delft hosts 2014 Geodesign Summit Europe

The Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, in cooperation with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, geo-ICT consultancy Geodan and the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), played host to the second Geodesign Summit Europe on September 10 to 12, 2014.

The three-day event brought together researchers and industry professionals from across the globe who specialize in the innovative integration of geospatial sciences with design processes. Issues such as urban safety, cultural heritage, design planning and decision-making, and the adoption of geodesign thinking were thoroughly discussed during the workshops and conference sessions.

“The Geodesign Summit Europe is an exciting moment in time where cross-pollination occurs between leading data scientists, geospatial software developers, urban planners and designers, architects, policy-makers, and even philanthropists,” said Danbi Lee, spokesperson for the organizing committee and geodesign researcher at VU Amsterdam. “It provides a focused opportunity to share new technological advances in geospatial technology and illustrates the results of novel applications in practice to inspire and advance the adoption of geodesign thinking for all geospatial problems.”

As an iterative design and planning method, geodesign brings geographic analysis into the design process. It examines the impact of design through geospatial technology such as simulations, visualization, modeling and the communication of design impacts. The method adopts a multidisciplinary approach to research and design, integrating the exploration of ideas with direct, real-time evaluation.

“The big problems in the world have to be addressed in a multidisciplinary fashion,” said Dr. Max Craglia, senior researcher at the European Commission Joint Research Centre. “If we want disciplines to work together, we need to share a [common] understanding of data across these disciplines.” According to the researcher, openly sharing data enhances interoperability between and among stakeholders and academic disciplines. However, effective collaboration cannot occur if the various partners involved are not all on the same page. “We need to use geodesign to plan with the people, not for the people,” Craglia claimed.

With more than 220 participants in attendance, the summit aimed to demonstrate the value of geospatial technology and how it will change the way designers, planners and engineers approach complex problems such as urban redevelopment, heritage conservation, and disaster management. “We want the Geodesign Summit Europe this year to be as challenging, eye-opening, and enjoyable as the last one, while illustrating how far the discipline has advanced,” Lee explained. “We hope it leaves participants infused with promise for adopting geodesign thinking into their own work.” 

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