Chiara Boeri: Boscometro More Than a Green Belt for a City




 
  • ©2007, Chiara Boeri, Boscometro More Than a Green Belt for a City

Artist(s):


Collaborators:


Title:


Boscometro More Than a Green Belt for a City

Exhibition:


SIGGRAPH 2007: Global Eyes

Creation Year:


2007

Medium:


2D and 3D software, integrating cartography, 3D models of trees, and a simple interface

Category:


Installation

Artist Statement:


Milano is a grey, industrial city, with alarming pollution levels. This project concerns a wooded area surrounding the city: a green belt, punctuated by clearings with farms, abbeys, rivers, playgrounds, and educational and social spaces, but also a place to enjoy leisure, a
place of silence, contemplation, and full immersion in an individual and collective memory of our region. This is not a nostalgic project. To look at a city from the viewpoint of open spaces means to invert the perspective of a polycentric and functional practice of building, and direct one’s attention toward social relations and the vital flows of a metropolis. Boscometro is an interactive installation that creates places of discussion and reflection around the project and its deeper meanings. On a screen, viewers see aerial views of Milano, Turin, and other cities. At first, the chosen city looks grey and covered with smog. Viewers choose trees from a side menu and drop them in the Boscometro area. As the trees multiply, the city looks cleaner and brighter. This installation has profound social and ecological value, and it is a joyous way of involving people in a very serious project.

Technical Information:


The application manages real-time interaction with high-definition, multi-layer maps of a fairly large urban region. At the same time, a geospatial database of thousands of complex 3D objects (trees) is interactively created and maintained. As an additional feature, the
visual effect must be scale-dependent so it can produce views that dynamically change according to the zooming level. These features are best fulfilled in a true GIS environment rather than a general-purpose graphic engine coupled with a DBMS. The general drawback of most GIS-based applications is a poorly designed user interface, which makes them appropriate mainly for technical uses. ESRI’s ArcGIS Engine makes available the ArcObjects Library through API support for all major programming environments: C++, Java, .NET, ActiveX on Windows, Linux, and Solaris. It is also embeddable in web applications (the ADF web-development framework and ArcIMS web services). This project is in progress, sponsored by several Italian cities.