Absorbing information visually is one of the easiest ways to understand a problem and make a decision on how to solve it. As cities are developing at larger rates, the need for city planning is not only increasing but in need of revitalising.
Computer-Aided Drawings, also know as CAD, has seemed to have gained a partner in communicating the architect’s ideas in virtual reality as it is steadily becoming the next step from using CAD. Not only can you show clients what a building is going to look like or how traffic will flow through a town, but you can let them feel it.
– You can discover new landscapes and you can go to inaccessible landscapes. The future is here, we are actually in the future, says Ramzi Hassan, Associate Professor in Computer Visualizations in Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture at NMBU.
In Minneapolis this was seen as a very important fundamental to municipal planning. They believed that going through the process of getting a development site plan reviewed, virtual reality will be a common platform to share their ideas on and public engagement will occur through virtual reality experiences. Through the University of Minnesota they created an experience using social VR.
In a similar project, the Newcastle City Council decided to renew the Beresfield local centre as a part of the Council’s local and neighbourhood centres program. Working with Virtual Perspective, they created an architectural and town planning visualisation of what the future has to bring to Beresfield. The 3D fly through video showed what the refurbished local centre will look like once completed.
Although the Newcastle City Council and Virtual Perspective project was not a VR project, the modelling of the 3D environment was set up so that the project can later be turned into a VR experience. With increasing use of virtual reality in town planning, it won’t be much longer before it becomes a staple in the process of developing cities and towns.