In architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design, site planning refers to the organizational process of site layout. A fundamental step for site planning is the design of building layout across the site. This process is hard to automate due to its multi-modal nature: it takes multiple constraints such as street block shape, orientation, program, density, and plantation. The paper proposes a prototypical and extensive framework to generate building footprints as masterplan references for architects, landscape architects, and urban designers by learning from the existing built environment with Artificial Neural Networks. Pix2PixHD Conditional Generative Adversarial Neural Network is used to learn the mapping from a site boundary geometry represented with a pixelized image to that of an image containing building footprint color-coded to various programs. A dataset containing necessary information is collected from open source GIS (Geographic Information System) portals from the city of Boston, wrangled with geospatial analysis libraries in python, trained with the TensorFlow framework. The result is visualized in Rhinoceros and Grasshopper, for generating site plans interactively.
In a broad sense, the site planning process in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and planning pedagogies refers to the organizational stage of the site planning proves. It involves the organization of land-use zoning, access, circulation, plantation design, and other procedures. In a narrow sense, site planning could be formalized as a conditional generation problem solvable with state-of-the-art machine learning models such as Conditional Generative Adversarial Neural Networks (CGAN).
Various Site boundary shape is tested for site planning generation. The model performs best for sites with quadrilateral boundary shape, which might be a result because most city blocks in Boston are quadrilateral shapes. In future work, this aspect might be further enhanced with data augmentation.
The project might have great impact for urban planners and urban designers, especially during the stage of concept design and massing studies. The project might also impact real estate industry much to a similar impact to urban designers. Real estate developers could use the tool for fast-prototyping design iterations at the very early stage of a real state financing project that involves complex site planning.
Site Planning. Kevin Lynch, Gary Hack 1971. This thorough work on all the technical aspects of site planning is infused with a deep understanding on how humans inhabit their environment, the need to avoid ugliness, and the importance of understanding the consequences of design. The book remains a standard in the field of planning. Google Books
Rural By Design Maintaining Small Town Character. Randall Arendt 1994. Growing out of his work in New England and an appreciation for the design of small communities, Arendt revealed how towns could grow and maintain their character through density, good site planning, and compatible design. His work reinforced efforts to achieve growth management, address sprawl, and the conserve natural and cultural landscapes. Arendt offered, with grace and humor, practical solutions to guiding growth and conserving land. Google Books 153554b96e