Walking through the abstract[ed] city and co-creating urban space

Daria Belkouri*, Richard Laing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This paper explores how co-designing urban walkability can be augmented by an innovative hybrid approach, whereby virtual records and visualisations of the walking experience can enhance the awareness, perceptions and immersion of the participant in both real and virtual spaces. From one side of that model, the research explores how people might be intrigued enough to discover the real context, based on their experience informed and enriched by parallel images of the city. On the other side, the study aimed to develop a critical understanding of urban walking through the lens of 3D high-definition LIDAR scanning technology, where visualisation techniques were used to support studies to explore how the rich experience of walking could be captured and represented. The paper presents a theoretical framework to propose how walking could be promoted, and positively influenced by the urban environment, by regarding the city from the abstract perspective of the virtual point cloud. The research has investigated how and whether a place – real and abstracted – could act as a trigger to produce novel ideas and unfold thoughts in a participatory way. The interlinkages between motion and (visual) perception of the environment as an aesthetic experience were critical to informing how digital technology can be utilised as a virtual space within which the richness of real interactions and experiences with urban space can be represented, refined, interacted with and used within a rich(er) process of co-design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-83
Number of pages21
JournalApplied Mobilities
Issue number1
Early online date30 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

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