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Most people have a difficult time visualizing change when planners talk about altering the built environment. Many people can not read plans and immediately visualize what kind of changes are being proposed at various scales. By exploring a 3D simulation, the results can immediately be seen. Perhaps we are suggesting a facade improvement to a building, we can see the existing condition within the simulation, and press a button to show the building after the suggested facade improvements. We can take it one step further to include how this improvement might be financed. The goal is to integrate the existing conditions, proposed solutions, and supplementary data into one custom built simulation.

This project utilizes technology to create an urban simulation of Hazel Crest, Illinois. The urban simulation will initially consist of a 3D model of the built environment within a half mile radius of the Hazel Crest Metra station and ultimately include the proposed recommendations made by Teska Associates, as well as funding and TIF district information for each phase of the recommendations. The simulation will function to aid in the assessment of the existing conditions in community meetings, enabling community members to fly through the web browser version of the simulation, see what is there without having to physically drive through the city, and interact with individual parcels under consideration. In addition to the web browser version for the community meetings, an immersive, interactive simulation displayed in UIC's CAVE will be created in the latter stage of the planning process for Teska Associates, Metra, RTA, and the Village of Hazel Crest staff to explore recommendations and additional options.

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