The Balbriggan 3D Model is a visual tool which will help citizens visualise the planned transformations of the town outlined in the Our Balbriggan 2019 – 2025 Town Rejuvenation plan. The model can be described as a ‘3D Map’ or ‘Digital Twin’ of Balbriggan as it was created using aerial survey photography and ground level photo surveys. It provides easy access to a visual representation of the reimagined Harbour and Quay Street area.
In 2020, Fingal County Council was awarded funding to develop a 3D Virtual Reality model to enhance citizen engagement in Balbriggan. €20,000 was awarded under the Public Service Innovation Fund, which aims to support innovation from public service bodies to promote collaboration and improved approaches to service delivery. Galway based 3D modelling company, RealSim, were awarded the contract to develop the model.
The model will be used to enhance community engagement, enabling the people and businesses of Balbriggan to view the future transformation of their town. An interactive web viewer has been created for the public to view and immerse themselves in Balbriggan’s reimagined spaces. Using this web viewer, you can walk down Quay Street and toggle to a festival view, where people are enjoying outdoor craft fair, food and music. This 3D environment showcases the potential of the Our Balbriggan 2019 – 2025 Town Rejuvenation plan.
The model has been created with open source and open data in mind, the source data of the model will be made available in accessible formats and released as open data on the Fingal Open Data platform. The model data will be made available for the Smart Balbriggan Hackathon event which takes place in June 2021.
The model is also Virtual Reality (VR) ready, meaning that it can be viewed using a VR headset, offering a more immersive visual experience. The multiple user engagement options (movie, web, desktop and VR) is facilitated by the underlying game engine technology used by RealSim, Unity3D, the most popular game engine in the world. Fingal County Council are by extension harnessing the ease of use and multi-platform strengths of this technology to bring planning and community consultation into a new era of ‘Future Visioning’ and how we collectively shape the world we want to live in.