Would 3D Digital Participatory Planning Improve Social Sustainability in Smart Cities?

Would 3D Digital Participatory Planning Improve Social Sustainability in Smart Cities?

An Empirical Evaluation Study in Less-Advantaged Areas published in Journal of Urban Technology

This study evaluates the impact of using 3D digital participatory planning (3DDPP) on planning practices, a method tested within the framework of a redevelopment project in one of the less-advantaged neighborhoods in the Dutch city of Schiedam.

In the study, an interactive 3DDPP tool was employed by a group of residents who co-designed public spaces in the neighborhood. Residents were then given the opportunity to visualize online the project area in 3D format, suggest their ideas, comment on the design proposal, produce interactive graphical designs online, and interact with each other.

The impact of this process was tested according to five criteria (efficiency, feasibility, attractiveness, interaction, and satisfaction) developed via free-listing and pile-sorting methods in collaboration with nine experts.

A qualitatively driven (QUAL) mixed method was used to analyze the data collected from a sample of 62 subjects, which included professionals and citizens.

The results showed that the use of 3DDPP tools can potentially enhance community engagement in decision-making. This article concludes by emphasizing that socioeconomic, political, and demographic challenges, which might decrease the residents’ willingness to be actively engaged in collaborative decision-making, might not be solved by using technology alone. 

Read the full study



Islam Bouzguenda

Islam is an award-winning Architect/Planner with more than 7 years of experience. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Analysis and Regional Planning. Her areas of interest include smart and sustainable cities, social sustainability, digital co-design, and, digital governance. Her expertise ranges from working with European governmental organizations in the participatory planning sector to working as an architect within private consultancies in the GCC region. As an activist in the field, Islam is currently involved as a CoP member on urban innovation at ISOCARP (International Society of City and Regional Planners) working within the steering committee on the “101 urban innovation” project

Nadia Fava

Is an architect at the IUAV University of Venice and holds a PhD from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.

Chaham Alalaouch

Is an assistant professor in architectural engineering at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman.

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