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Title: A collaborative urban planning environment
Author: Yao, Jialiang
ISNI:       0000 0004 2692 2505
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2010
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The emerging Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) provide the possibility of developing innovative approaches to replace the traditional approaches of using text, 2D-maps, images and graphs to facilitate better communication and collaboration. This thesis uses these emerging technologies to present an innovative collaborative virtual environment for multiple stakeholders to come together to visualise and analyse complex urban agendas and have an informed debate about the proposed plans, their inter-dependencies and intended outcome. The research has been driven by working closely with a group of stakeholders in the Black Country. The case study approach ensured the concerns of the majority of the stakeholders are addressed within an urban planning context involving a range of complex data sets. This research has designed and implemented a software framework that can create a VR-centred planning environment which can efficiently manage planning related datasets, support interactive visualisation and analysis, and enhance stakeholder engagement. The overall software system has been implemented within a co-located workspace comprised of a PowerWall, 3D input devices and conferencing facilities for 30 participants. The underlying unified urban model can integrate various geospatial data, demographic data and new urban plans to bring new developments to life. This model allows the users to reconfigure the urban space to suit the discussion points relevant to an urban scenario. Three types of evaluations have been conducted: performance evaluation, usability evaluation and business benefit evaluation. In this case the experiments have been conducted within an urban space of 350km2. The performance evaluation experiments have shown that the interactive response for rendering, navigation and interactive tasks are adequate for real-time performance. The human factors experiments show that the user interface is easy to learn and easy to use for typical interactive tasks. The proposed collaborative environment has been rated high by the stakeholders in terms of the value of this system for their urban tasks.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available