Special Achievement in GIS Award

2017 SAG Award Winners

Knight Frank LLP

View Photo(s) of Award Presentation

Project Goal

London is a competitive, attractive and open global city. However, current housing supply levels are struggling to meet demand, and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has brought forward programmes focusing on affordability, site allocation and delivery to try to address this shortfall.
The ongoing availability of land is a critical consideration, and Knight Frank routinely advises clients on residential, mixed-use and commercial site opportunities with reference to land use, pricing, demographics, and planning frameworks.
In observing how London’s development history has produced an uneven roofline profile across London’s streetscape, Knight Frank set out to determine whether the volume and value of potential ‘skyward’ extensions between taller buildings could be substantiated.
The aim was to deliver coherent analytical principles that could be replicated by planning authorities, contribute to policy debate in this area, and address pressing questions on housing supply.

Business Problem Solved

Geospatial data and methods are key to discovering opportunities that might otherwise be missed. Our systematic analysis of cross-referenced 3D spatial data revealed and quantified the extent of skyward development opportunity in the capital. The output highlighted considerable development potential and provided a basis for discussion on a novel solution to housing supply issues, unlocking value for freeholders, and contributing substantially to public policy debate in this area.

Technology Implemented

The analysis drew together a range of Esri products in producing the geospatial data and arriving at the headline findings. The data processing power and analytical capability of ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Server were used for analysis, bulk data management and cross referencing, while ArcScene and ArcGIS Pro were used to rationalise and quantify findings from 3D data. At the point at which the project was presented as a proof of concept to clients, 3D web scenes within ArcGIS Online were used to present the data in an immersive and easy-to-understand form.

Development Team Biography

Ian McGuinness, Head of Geospatial for Knight Frank
Ian is the Head of Geospatial for Knight Frank Research, where his team’s work is used to provide a clearer understanding of spatial and socioeconomic factors affecting the housing market. Ian leads the production of bespoke GIS output including multi-criteria site evaluation and client-facing interactive mapping, and he devised the skyward opportunity analysis. Ian is a Chartered Geographer and Chartered Land Surveyor, and he previously worked in the Planning Team at the London Borough of Newham during the 2012 Olympics.

Robert Holden, Geospatial Analyst for Knight Frank
Robert is a Geospatial Analyst within Knight Frank Research and joined the team in 2015. He is a graduate of University College London’s Geography degree and provides analytical solutions across the team’s client base. Robert provided invaluable analytical support and technical troubleshooting on this project.

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