14 February, 2008 – NEM's pioneering planning model recognised at top awards
A pioneering 3D model commissioned by urban regeneration company, New East Manchester and funded by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) was commended at the RTPI (Royal Town Planning Institute) Awards 2007.
The interactive computer generated model, which covers 50 acres of the Ancoats Conservation Area and features over 100 buildings, allows people to virtually fly, walk, drive through and circle the streets and buildings of Ancoats.
Designed by engineering consultants Arup, using computer gaming technology, it was originally constructed seven years ago as a design tool for the regeneration of Ancoats. Over the years it has been constantly up-dated and improved to achieve an extremely realistic virtual impression of this historic heart of east Manchester as it undergoes major regeneration.
Eddie Smith, Acting Chief Executive of New East Manchester said: "This model has proved invaluable over the past years in bringing Ancoats back to its former glory. It is far more flexible and a lot more mobile and accessible than the standard physical model and allows you to see perspectives that traditional graphics could never show you.
"The technology allows you to drop schemes into the area so you can view them in context and decide if they are right for that particular environment. You can even check sun and shade patterns and view buildings at night with street lights.
"It really has been a fantastic investment and we’re very proud to win the award and receive industry recognition for our work."
Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of the NWDA, added: "The regeneration of Ancoats is a key priority for the NWDA and working with our partners we are investing heavily in the Ancoats Urban Village regeneration project which continues to breathe new life into the area.
"It is great that this innovative approach to its design, which has helped to ensure the quality of development schemes within the area, has received national recognition."
Roger Milburn, Director Arup also commented: "Our 3D city model team lead by Simon Mabey has developed an interactive model of Ancoats for New East Manchester.
"The model provides New East Manchester with a long-term tool for helping plan and develop Ancoats. It also provides an important consultation tool for demonstrating different regeneration options.
"The model has recently been extended to cover more of the City of Manchester. It is fitting that Manchester are pioneering technological innovation which has immediate and long-term value for many different applications and users."
Source: New East Mancheser press release