A 3D computer model of East Manchester by engineering consultants Arup was commended in last night's Royal Town Planning Institute Awards 2007.
Commissioned by urban regeneration company, New East Manchester, and funded by the North West Development Agency, the interactive programme covers 50 acres of the Ancoats Conservation Area and features over 100 buildings, allowing people to virtually fly, walk, drive through and circle the streets and buildings of the area.
The model was originally constructed seven years ago as a design tool for the regeneration of Ancoats. Over the years it has been up-dated as new projects come along to maintain its accuracy.
Eddie Smith, acting chief executive of New East Manchester, said: "This model has proved invaluable over the past years in bringing Ancoats back to its former glory. It is far more flexible and a lot more mobile and accessible than the standard physical model and allows you to see perspectives that traditional graphics could never show you."
"The technology allows you to drop schemes into the area so you can view them in context and decide if they are right for that particular environment. You can even check sun and shade patterns and view buildings at night with street lights. It really has been a fantastic investment and we're very proud to win the award and receive industry recognition for our work."