Envision Scenario Planning Tool (ESP)

ENVISION scenario planning tool (ESP)

This project has built an online 3D visualisation and assessment tool for precinct regeneration (ENVISION Scenario Planner). The tool consists of functionality to visualise and report on different redevelopment scenarios at a precinct level from a sustainability, social and economic basis. Ultimately this project provides the CRC for Spatial Information, AURIN and potentially other research organisations with a 3D visualisation framework that can be populated and utilised by urban researchers, now and into the future.
ESP requires a user account. Please contact AURIN if you are interested in discussing project opportunities with us and how we can assist with data preparation and training.
Full user documentation can be found at http://docs.aurin.org.au/envision-scenario-planner/.


Project overview

The project has developed a system in which a variety of precinct objects, such as residential buildings or public open space, can be defined and placed within a 3D representation of an urban redevelopment precinct. The user-driven redevelopment scenarios are then assessed as the system provides feedback on a range of sustainability, social and economic metrics pertaining to energy demand, water demand, carbon, transport, and planning in general.

The rationale for the project comes from a need in urban planning for a system that can be used to develop redevelopment scenarios that can be compared on the basis of quantifiable outcomes and visualised to convey scale and form. As urban sprawl continues, opportunities for more effective redevelopment of residential greyfield housing are being overlooked, in part due to the lack of effective tools for evaluating the benefits of models other than greenfield and brownfield; both of which have well-established development histories and methods. The sets of tools that ESP supplies allow researchers and planners to investigate the benefits of ‘precinct’ scale development in traditional lot–by-lot redevelopment environments.

The end users of this system are local government urban researchers and planners. There is also potential for the model to be re-used for other forms of analysis using different, but logically homogeneous, precinct objects and housing typologies.

View the ESP Quick Start Tutorial Video from AURIN on Vimeo.

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Project Output

  • A 3D visualisation and analysis platform for urban regeneration. This framework has been developed using Cesium, an open source, geographically enabled 3D engine. It is anticipated that the platform will provide a standard for precinct modelling in Australia.
  • A detailed set of data schemas to describe a wide variety of precinct object typologies and enable them to be evaluated in a dynamic modelling environment.
  • A set of detailed housing typologies and other precinct objects to contribute to a Precinct Object Library that can be utilised by end users when carrying out precinct modelling scenarios. A complete typology includes 2D and 3D geometries for visualisation and a host of other data used to evaluate its performance.
  • A set of models to be utilised by the system for evaluating a precinct’s performance. Outputs generated report on operating energy, operating and embodied carbon, internal and external water demand, transport (VKT, GHG and mode split), district energy system impacts, parking, stormwater run-off flows, capital and operating costs and a suite of planning metrics.
  • Collation and creation of key sustainability, social and economic analysis metrics for the built environment that are generated by reports for different user groups, such as financial analysts, sustainability analysts, social policy experts, planners, government officers and urban researchers.

Project Team

This project is jointly funded by the CRC for Spatial Information (CRCSI) and AURIN, with project partners with local and state government partners in Victoria, Western Australia and New Zealand. It enhances and complements previous and existing outputs from the CRCSI Greening the Greyfields project, while the 3D software architecture will be a key component of the AURIN 3D volumetric analysis tool.

The project team consists of researchers from Curtin University (Prof Peter Newman & Dr Roman Trubka), Swinburne University (Prof Peter Newton & Dr Stephen Glackin), the University of Melbourne (Prof Tuan Ngo, Oliver Lade & Aram Kocharyan) and the University of Canterbury (Prof Simon Kingham & Dr Rita Dionisio).


Peter Newman_webProf Peter Newman
Professor of Sustainability
Office of Research and Graduate Studies
Curtin University
08 9266 9032
Peter_Newton_webProf Peter Newton
Research Professor
Institute for Social Research
Swinburne University
03 9214 4769
Dr Roman Trubka
Office of Research and Graduate Studies
Curtin University
08 9266 9040
Dr Stephen Glackin
Research Fellow (Main Contact)
Institute for Social Research
Swinburne University
03 9214 8218
Tuan Ngo_webProf Tuan Ngo
Infrastructure Engineering
The University of Melbourne
03 83447950
Oliver LadeOliver Lade
Research Developer
Computing and Information Systems
The University of Melbourne
Simon Kingham, Geography, story on greening the campus, 3.2.14Prof Simon Kingham
Professor of Geography and Director of GeoHealth Laboratory
The University of Canterbury
+64 3 364 2893
ritadDr Rita Dionisio
Post-Doctoral Fellow Researcher
Greening the Greyfields Project
The University of Canterbury
+64 3 364 2987


Project Partners

Curtin University_web crc_si_logo1_2600

Dept of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure_web


AURIN logo with website Swinburne_crop LANDGATE_ART_CMYK_COA

Further Reading

  • Pettit, C, Glackin, S, Trubka, R, et al. 2014, ‘A rapid prototyping approach for building a 3D volumetric precinct urban planning tool‘, in ISPRS Joint Conference on Geospatial Theory, Processing, Modelling and Applications, Toronto, Canada.
  • Glackin, S & Newton, P 2015, ‘Engaging the greyfields: community engagement and co-design in residential redevelopment of public housing’, in R. Leshinshy & C. Legacy. (Eds). Instruments of Planning: Tensions and Challenges for more Equitable and Sustainable Cities, New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Newton, P, Newman, P, Glackin, S, & Trubka, R 2012 ‘Greening the greyfields: Unlocking the redevelopment potential of the middle suburbs in Australian cities’, World Academy of Science Engineering and Technology, vol. 71, pp. 658-677.