As the first Swedish municipality The Municipality of Halmstad has invested in virtual reality technology, which will be used as an integral part of their urban development and planning processes. The Municipality of Halmstad has acquired a VR Studio that is a 3D cinema / CAVE (Computer Automatic Virtual Environment). The goal is to create exact 3D models of the city where the existing and future building mass and infrastructure are reproduced in scale 1: 1. The VR model of the city allows stakeholders to test how everything from building heights, infrastructure, accessibility, and sustainable climate adaptation initiatives go hand in hand. The Danish VR company Epiito has developed and delivered VR Studio and a number of supportive VR solutions that will optimize urban development in Halmstad.
Virtual reality as a communication platform ensures shared understanding
Communication between urban development professionals and citizens, employees and end-users is one of the recurring challenges of planning processes. This is, among other things, due to the fact that non-professionals find it hard to decode the AEC-advisors floor plans and other technical documents. When a city model is reproduced virtually in full-scale a new understanding emerges, which is one of the reasons why Halmstad Municipality now incorporates virtual reality in their urban development processes.
Patrick Kristensson is Director of Real Estate Administration at The Municipality of Halmstad. He has high expectations for the possibilities with VR as part of the planning work.
"In Halmstad Municipality we work with an overall vision consisting of three hearts, namely The Hometown, The Knowledge City and The Experience City. Whether you live, study or visit Halmstad to experience something new, it's all about people. Therefore, it is vital that we, as a public authority, involve citizens, politicians, business and cultural representatives when we develop Halmstad. We have invested in virtual reality as we see brand new opportunities for co-creation, where public organizations, investors, businesses and citizens work together in order to create the Halmstad of tomorrow. The cost of testing in VR is minimal compared to testing in the real world, and therefore I have great expectations about how Epiito's solutions can optimize our work. "
Jonas N. Salih is CEO of Epiito and believes urban development and virtual reality is an obvious match.
"Architecture and urban development is basically about people, and at Epiito our focus is to ensure communication between stakeholders, so that a common understanding emerges in that allows everyone involved to make qualified decisions. Our VR solutions create new opportunities for strategic urban planning, retail plans, policy decisions, consultation and citizen involvement. In the coming years, I am looking forward to help The Muncipality of Halmsta make the most of our various VR solutions. " says Jonas N. Salih from Epiito, who previously provided CAVE solutions to Danish municipalities and major hospital projects in Denmark and Norway.
Find out more about The Municipality of Halmstad at www.halmstad.se
Find out more about VR Studio here >>
Photo: Patrick Kristensson, Managing Director at the Real Estate Office in The Municipality of Halmstad (right), and Jonas N. Salih, CEO and Founder of Epiito.