1. Augmenting Urban Design Through XR Technology

Chairpersons: Maria Schewenius, VR creator, University of Gävle and Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University
Päivi Keränen, Project manager, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences


SESSION I: Thursday 13:30-15:00

  1. Pia Fricker: Urban Landscape / Urban Talkscpases – Entering Mixed Reality

2. Santeri Saarinen: Innovating citizen participation in urban design through VR

3. Herman Mitish: Gamification of participatory urban planning in the smart city context

4. Olli Haanpää: Virtual structures of the augmented cityspace: Case Pokémon GO


Session Description

”While urban areas play a key role for attaining sustainable development, planning and design is often struggling with insufficient tools to deal with the increasingly complex emerging challenges to cities. Novel technologies such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, gathered under the umbrella of Extended Reality (XR) are rapidly emerging as part of our daily lives. The XR technologies offer an unprecedented opportunity to understand, design, and manage our surroundings better. They possess great potential for illustrating alternative visions of cities, and supporting discussions of the implications between people of different disciplines, professions, and backgrounds. XR technologies thus present enormous potential as tools for supporting sustainable development. However, their application as tools in urban planning and design is as of yet an under-explored area in policy, practice, and research. The aim of the proposed session is to spur critical discussions on a) how XR technologies can support citizen and stakeholder participation in urban planning, and b) how planning can support urban design to provide comprehensive and long-term support to social values and ecosystem services.

The session gathers participants from the new interdisciplinary project Augmented Urbans (2018-2021), led by Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, and is open to researchers, planners, policy-makers, designers and others with relevant expertise interested in the topic. Augmented Urbans aims to support participatory planning, and development and implementation of social-ecologically integrated plans in five cities (Helsinki, Tallinn, Gävle, Cesis, and Viimsi) in the Central Baltic area, using XR technologies as supporting tool. This open session will engage the audience by mixing presentations with common dialogues. It thus holds the capacity to support mutual knowledge exchange between a diverse set of stakeholders, as well as contribute to the project’s initial knowledge bank, which will inform the next steps in the project.”