El Segundo, Calif. – The Corpus Christi Downtown Management District (DMD) decided to use 3D visualization to help promote and plan its revitalization program, turning into a case study for a significant movement in city planning: GeoDesign.

The Corpus Christi Association of Realtors obtained a $5,000 National Association of Realtor’s Smart Growth Action Grant for the DMD, a quasi-governmental professional organization focused on downtown development and expansion. The DMD then commissioned El Segundo, Calif.-based CyberCity 3D to build a 3D visualization model with the funds to showcase improvements to an initial, two-square block area of Chapparal Street.

“We were seeking a parallel path,” says Tray Bates, former Corpus Christi Association of Realtors chairman and DMD vice-chair. “This is a great way to partner in the community to show realtors working with the DMD to promote growth.”

CyberCity 3D’s GIS modeling software generated the 3D buildings from off-the-shelf stereo images provided by Keystone Aerial Surveys, Inc.

"We are looking at this project as the cornerstone to really kick off the revitalization efforts downtown," said John Vidaurri, executive director of Corpus Christi Downtown Management District.  “We’re very interested in 3D texturing and looking at it as giving folks a good abstract look at the downtown area, and to market the facilities and buildings that are available.”

The DMD introduced the 3D model to the City of Corpus Christi, and “When we looked at the data the first words that came to mind was game-changer,” stated Corpus Christi City Planner Andrew Dimas.

“This successful program is a great example of how governmental agencies and the private sector can work together to reach a mutually beneficial goal that enhances business while beautifying the area for local citizens,” says CyberCity 3D CEO Kevin DeVito.

The 3D model illustrated the ability to use 3D GIS to better communicate planned street design changes to stakeholders and the community-at-large. The completed model totals 12,500 individually modeled structures including all roof details; each roof polygon features a broad range of automated measurements such as line-of-site and building footprint locations--all with 6-inch accuracy

CyberCity 3D incorporated the 3D GIS buildings into Esri’s ArcGIS and its new Esri CityEngine extension to construct a comprehensive 3D framework for analysis, planning and promotion. CyberCIty 3D delivered a 3D visualization fly-over, a new building footprints map, sustainability data, and first-responder and disaster planning information for flood plain analysis.
 
“Esri CityEngine transforms 2D GIS data into smart 3D city models,” said Dominik Tarolli, director business development for 3D markets at Esri. “CyberCity 3D has streamlined the workflow process with CityEngine. This enables local governments around the globe to better communicate, collaborate and engage the public in the decision-making process with smart 3D city models. Corpus Christi is a first-mover in this exciting new effort.”

The 3D pilot project in Corpus Christi is growing, and could turn into a city-wide sustainability program as stakeholders see how this pioneering deployment of 3D GIS and GeoDesign have the ability to enhance key city functions.

“Other departments will definitely want to get on board.  There are so many applications: visual aids, utility master planning, FEMA information, green data, rooftops for solar and runoff statistics.  It’s really a new frontier.  Once you go 3D, you can’t go back,” Dimas reveals