elementsdb is a web-based catalogue of urban design examples, images, models and data developed to facilitate and inform urban planning and design teaching, applied research and practice.

An Urban Design Catalogue

elementsdb is a modular, scalable, spatial lexicon of urban form elements based on the concept that urban form is comprised of replicable elements (cases) that can be categorized by land use: open space, streets, residential, commercial, civic, and industrial. Each land use is organized by type and intensity.

Each parcel-scaled case is rigorously measured and illustrated to comparable standards and graphic conventions to capture its significant qualitative attributes and quantitative dimensions. Included are planning data such as density, use, floor areas and coverage, environmental performance, as well as illustrative data such as photos, plans and 3D models. Data and models can be imported into SketchUp, GoogleEarth and Geographic Information Systems.

The web interface allows browsing, searching and looking at the cases in map view. Individuals or groups can create their own subset of cases and can store cases in the warehouse.

elementsdb cases are used by the elementslab as source data for many of our applied and research projects. elementsdb is currently in beta version.

Project Profile

Sponsors: Canada Foundation for Innovation, British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund, Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation, The City of Vancouver, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund
Team: Duncan Cavens, Alix Krahn, Steve Lamb, Doreen Leo, Jessica MacDaniel, Alexander Man-Bourdon, Courtney Miller, Nicole Miller, Inna Olchovski, Maxim Pravosoudov, Phil Riley, Jon Salter, Warren Scheske, Caroline Schutrumpf, Negin Shakibi, Mesa Sheriff, Nicholas Sinkewicz, Eric Siu, Elsa Snyder, Michael van der Laan, Kevin Zhang.
Website developer: Vibrant Software, Vancouver, BC