The Role of Virtual Reality in Planning Smart & Resilient Cities

The adoption of Virtual reality (VR) technology seems to accelerate as more industries do integrate VR to develop pioneer projects. The speed of the VR growth is mainly coming from the game industry, but lately, as VR is getting more popular, new opportunities in other sectors are emerging. Beside gaming industry, big VR adopters are investigating in health care, tourism, education, urban planning & manufacturing among others.

To date, scant attention has been paid to the fact that the growth of immersive reality can be used as a powerful tool to serve urban planning where citizens can involve in the premature stages of the project design. With the VR utilization, policy makers, planners, architects, and citizens have the possibility to investigate the implementation of a project against alternatives – as if it was real – aiming to improve environmental, economic and social sustainability in an urban context. The utilization of VR-tech has the potential to transform the way economists do experimental research in order to determine the indirect benefits arising from green spaces. The latter will facilitate the reanimation of public spaces, with numerous benefits emerging from the what is called ‘ecosystem services’ via the new, urban green landscape. Further exploration of these new tools can prove their accessibility, reliability, and validity for decision making, contributing to a novel, comprehensive approach for public participation in urban planning.


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