Whether you are working with city development, creating new neighborhoods or engaged in infrastructure projects there is a huge and unexploited potential for using VR technology in Smart City planning. Epitome's VR technology makes it possible to develop the cities of tomorrow - in a smarter and more inclusive manner.
With the aid of Geographic Information Systems it is possible to create virtual 3D models of cities - complete with buildings and infrastructure. Incorporating these models to our VR solutions allows stakeholders to test building heights, infrastructure, accessibility, and sustainable climate adaptation initiatives.
Our VR technology provides new opportunities for strategic urban planning, retail plans, policy decisions, and citizen involvement. It is a valuable tool that increases dialogue between developers, public authorities, advisors and citizens, allowing stakeholders to test even the wildest ideas – with minimal expenses compared to building real mock-ups.
- Eases public planning processes
- Provides optimal conditions for citizen involvement and co-creation by facilitating communication
- Makes it possible to validate design 1:1
- Makes it possible to test and optimize development of new infrastructure projects – from technical as well as behavioural aspects
- Shows future planning scenarios in a comprehensible manner
- Makes it possible to validate errors in design and construction phases
- Provides 20–25 % savings in construction and Facility management costs
- Simplifies, involves and optimizes processes and results in better overall project economy
Municipality of Vejle explores the future
The Municpality of Vejle is the first Danish municipality to acquire a VR Studio. Epiito's CAVE solution allows city planners to involve citizens and engage in dialogue regarding the future development of the city.
"As Politicians we now have a better opportunity to explore a new project before we approve it," states Christoffer Melson, Chairman of Vejle's technical committee.
Smart City X VR = The future of Vejle
The Municipality of Vejle is the first Municipality in Denmark to acquire a VR studio. Epiito’s CAVE solution allows the planning department to engage in a dialogue with their citizens and other parties of interest regarding the development of the city.
Christoffer Melson is chairman of the municipality’s technical committee. After a visit to VR Studio he states “This will be a good tool when we have to explain how a future project will look like. As politicians we now have a better opportunity to explore a new project before we give it a yes or no” to the local newspaper, Vejle Amts Folkeblad.
Video (in Danish) copyright Municipality of Vejle
Making architecture and urban development accessible
VR Studio provides access to the future allowing citizens to explore which projects are on their way, understand their scale and how they fit in with their surroundings.
Lisbet Wolters, City Architect in Vejle Municipality, explains
“The new digital tools allow architecture and urban development to be much more accessible to everyone because it does not require professional knowledge to understand a 3D model. At the same time, it provides greater security for investments when we can test new buildings and projects in the digital city model before they are implemented.”
Photo and Video C/O Municipality of Vejle
VR and smart cities – a match made in heaven
Virtual reality is rapidly changing the way we live, work and experience our physical surroundings. While the AEC industry has embraced Virtual Reality technology, there is a huge and unexploited potential for using VR for urban development and infrastructure planning – we consider it a match made in heaven.
Co-creating smart cities in an inclusive manner
The UN report “World Urbanization Trends” concludes that in 2050 approximately two thirds of the world population – or an extra 2,5 billion – will live in cities. This presents numerous possibilities as well as challenges – either way it will expand the demand for sustainable smart city planning.
Combining 3D city models with Virtual Reality provides new opportunities for strategic urban planning, retail plans, policy decisions, and citizen involvement. Virtual Reality is a valuable tool for creating dialogue between developers, public authorities, advisors and citizens. Not only does it generate a common understanding. It might possibly activate citizens that normally would not attend meetings, hereby increasing their sense of belonging to their neighbourhood. Imagine children or adolescents being attracted by the gamification-inspired environment. Or the residents in large residential areas that facing a big makeover, where a virtual presentation will help them understand the objectives in a new way.
Co-creating the future at minimal costs
The cost of testing virtually is minimal compared to the cost of experiments in the real world, and virtual reality also provides completely new opportunities for co-creation. And who knows? Perhaps the virtual co-creation sessions will mean that users collaborating with professionals could develop ideas that otherwise would not see the light of the day?
With Virtual Reality we can develop and test how our cities should be like. The technology is already there, so why not seize the opportunities and actively use Virtual Reality to develop the cities of tomorrow - in a smarter and more inclusive manner.