Parametric Neighborhood Generator

individual independent project | 2021
created as an extension of my Parametric Transect Zoning tool

This grasshopper script visualizes what a region, city, or neighborhood could look like with new zoning regulations upon full build-out, using four datasets:

1Centerlines of existing or future streets and relevant parcel boundaries. This example shows a suburban commercial section of Ferguson Township, PA extending along Atherton Street. Centerlines are separated into roads with bike lanes, those without, pedestrianized streets and riverwalks, and alleys.

2Information describing each type of street: width of sidewalks, number of vehicle lanes, locations of bus and bus lanes, etc.

3The proposed zoning districts. The images below show existing and proposed zoning maps for the Atherton corridor. For the grasshopper script to function, however, polygons need only encircle the center of each block.

4Regulations for each zoning district, including number of floors, floor height, and size of building podiums.

Grasshopper script: pavement edges including bulb outs at intersections; building masses with windows and cornices

Grasshopper synthesizes these four datasets into a model of potential street layout and development according to the established parameters. The script adds bulb outs to intersections with streets that include curbside parallel parking. It also determines a reasonable building massing for each block and adds cornices and windows based on adjustable dimension parameters. Learn more about my work in Grasshopper.

GIS context can establish massing of nearby existing development. This tool could allow municipalities and the public to visualize consequences as they iterate on zoning proposals, in real time.

In the future, the script could create more detailed models or recommend pictures from a database of streetscapes based on the proposed building massing and streetspace allocation. It could also calculate the total potential square feet of development to estimate changes’ impact on housing supply and commercial space.

See also an extension of this project which generates a heat map of potential development for an entire region based on GIS inputs.