in the Public Realm

The Environmental Simulation Center (est. by the New School for Social Research in 1991) provides innovative place-based solutions through the design, development and application of digital tools that support a democratic decision-making process. It led the design and development of CommunityVIZ®, the first GIS-based planning and design decision support software to fully integrate virtual reality with scenario design, impact analyses and policy simulation. It pioneered the practice of planning in an information-rich, interactive computing environment, and continues to develop decision-support techniques that enable decision-making to be informed, targeted, and "just in time." By integrating words, numbers, and images in one simulation environment, the design and physical impact of proposed projects can be assessed in real-time.

In a technologically-mediated workshop setting, the ESC works with stakeholders to interactively plan alternatives, formulate and test strategies, and develop implementation techniques. Since 1997, the ESC has been an independent not-for-profit laboratory, and is the only facility of its kind in New York. The three projects in Lower Manhattan illustrate the flexibility of the software and the interactive process.


Project Assistance: Caspar Lam, Programming and Graphic Design
Greenwich Street South Shadow Study 11am used to locate open space for parks