TOWARDS A VIRTUAL PLANNING SUPPORT THEATRE FOR CITY PLANNING AND DESIGN
Keywords: 3D Environments, Geo-design, Urban planning, Planning Support Theatre, Co-design, Unity3D
Abstract. In the era of ‘Smart Cities’, Planning Support Systems play an important role in providing a suite of digital tools to support evidenced based planning and design (Pettit et al. 2019). Planning Support Theatres vary from the traditional City Command Control Centres which are used to manage the real-time city (Kitchin 2014) in that they look at planning and design of future of cities and regions through collaboration (Healey 2003) between various stakeholders. Such methodologies which lend themselves to collaborative planning and design including Geo-design (Steinitz 2012; Pettit et al. 2019) and Co-design (Punt et al. 2020). There has been a plethora of virtual learning environments applicable to any discipline-specific application, each with their own names, terminology, feature sets and degrees of interoperability. In addition to providing the regular set of advantages such as ease of use across large geographies, improving collaboration between diverse set of stakeholders, these virtual platforms have become essential in the current world with travel restrictions and social distancing. In this context, it is imperative to explore the use of virtual systems for the purpose designing and implementing planning support theatre for city planning and design. This research builds a prototype for web based, 3D, immersive, planning support theatre and evaluates its functionality against similar physical theatres.