CityPeople is an urban design consultancy specializing in parametric urban design. The company is an offspring of the Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, Aalborg University and is founded on a research-based approach to all projects. CityPeople offers sub-consulting to architecture firms, landscape architects, consulting engineers and public planning authorities.

CityPeople is founded by:
NICOLAI STEINØ, architect, PhD, GDBA, associate professor, Aalborg Universitet


Parametric Urban Design

Parametric urban design offers completely new ways of generating dynamic urban development scenarios and visualizing them in 3D. As opposed to traditional 3D city models made up of ‘dead geometry’, parametric models may be altered dynamically.

Rather than modeling unique geometry, you set up rules for how the geometry is generated from given prerequisites. You define those elements in the model which should be changed parametrically, so that they can subsequently be controlled.

All parts of a model may in principle be controlled parametrically, from land use over building heights to the size of balconies. Parametric urban design can therefore be applied at all scales from district planning to site design.


Mass modeling, Land Use and Density Studies

At the early stages of any urban design study, mass modeling must come together with land use and density requirements. In addition to geometry – 3D models of the design –  parametric model can also general data. Thus, you can keep control of key data such as floor area ratios, land use distribution, ground cover, building heights, etc. This happens dynamically as you change the building geometry.

This is very powerful at the early stages of design. But with a parametric model, this capacity stays with the design throughout all stages of refinement. In addition, as architectural detailing such as doors and windows, balconies and even materials can be generated parametrically, a high level of detailing is feasible even in the early stages of design. And if you change the building envelope, the architectural detailing will change with it, according to your parametric settings.


Landscape-based Stormwater Management

In a time of climate change, climate design has become increasingly important in most urban design projects. Landscape-based stormwater management can be integrated into a parametric model. Design elements catering to stormwater management can be automatically generated and dynamically modified as an integral part of the design process.

This allows for a truly integrated design process, where site designs can be measured against their stormwater management performance in real time. And as green roofs, retention pools and other stormwater management elements are also objects of design, they can be visualized and evaluated for their design and performance on the fly.


Collaborative Urban Development

Parametric urban design is particularly useful in collaborative urban development processes with many stakeholders, both professionals and lay persons. As different scenarios may be generated in real time, it is a powerful tool for analyzing the consequences of different design concerns and making them spatially comprehensible.

Depending on specific needs, both urban space design, land use, environmental design and infrastructure can be made subject to parametric analysis. Geo-specific aspects may be controlled via GIS integration, just as building records and other GIS data  can be integrated into the parametric model.