7 November 2018

Technology from the world of gaming is revolutionising urban planning

Tyréns is now using technology from the world of computer games to visualise credibly how towns, areas and buildings change. Both during the construction period and in the future. We are now supplementing this with sound. In this way, we can hear, for example, how different materials in a building can affect the noise level.

The gaming world's technology is creating new opportunities – now, even in urban planning. The solution is called TyrEngine and means that with advanced computer gaming technology it is possible to create virtual environments in 3D to visualise proposals or changes in a landscape, a building or a whole town.

"It is like a digital twin of reality. If we then connect this to, for example, analysis results, geodata, life-cycle information, timetables and sensors, it creates endless opportunities for our urban planning projects," Ulf Hedlund, Business Developer at Tyréns, says. 

This means that many different parts of major projects can meet in the one and the same world. And they can be clearly visualised in a VR model.

"The result is not just that the client can see how an area or a building will look when it is completed. This also makes it possible to follow the development of the project and to plan the logistics for a building site more efficiently. Another advantage is that it becomes significantly easier to communicate changes with the citizens during a consultation process.

Today, TyrEngine is being applied in several major urban planning projects in Sweden – including in the transformation of Gällivare-Malmberget and in many infrastructure projects.

"The digital twin is a great help in discussions with the Swedish Transport Administration and citizens during road and tunnel projects. We also linked the underworld into the model so we could move about in complete freedom both above and below the ground.

"And in Gällivare, we have connected together all of the subprojects into one common world. This makes it possible to follow the work at the building sites and plan how they can be controlled more efficiently. We can also travel in time and experience how the town will change over the years the project is running and we what happens, for example, when buildings and roads are moved."

To create even more opportunities, Tyréns is now collaborating with the Luleå University of Technology to connect sound to the platform as well.

"The technology we are using allows us to present sound in a natural way," Ulf Hedlund says.

"This means we can also hear the effect of different changes. For example, how different building materials or external surfaces affect the noise level. We can even hear how the sound from a planned railway route will sound in reality, and how it affects neighbouring properties. It will be possible to present everything together in a common VR environment.

If everything goes as planned, the sound tool will start to be used actively in 2019.