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Communicating urban perception through City Information Modeling and Virtual Reality a study based on environmental psychology

Grant number: 23/00905-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2023
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Architecture and Town Planning
Principal Investigator:Maria Gabriela Caffarena Celani
Grantee:Zahra Alinam
Host Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Civil, Arquitetura e Urbanismo (FEC). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:21/11962-4 - CEUCI - Center for Studies on Knowledge and Innovation Urban Development: knowledge-based areas in urban fringes: guidelines for sustainable implementation with the support of information modeling, AP.CCD
Associated scholarship(s):23/15704-5 - Investigating the role of pocket parks and small green areas in the place-making process of new knowledge-based urban developments, BE.EP.PD


The objective of this study is to contribute to the understanding of objective and subjective perception aspects of an urban project by stakeholders, during participatory processes in the creation of new Knowledge-Based Urban Developments in urban fringes. The study will use representation tools in the communication of urban perception, such as City Information Modeling (CIM), Virtual Reality (VR) and physical models, and will be based on concepts from environmental psychology, such as place-making and urban vitality. The research will deepen the knowledge on the socio-cultural issues of people's expectations and behaviors in the urban environment of a KBUD.The study will be carried out through case studies, to be developed over two semesters each, in which the researcher will collaborate in a participatory process in the development of a new KBUD in the city of Campinas with local stakeholders, analyzing their perceptions and expectations about the project being proposed. Experiments will be carried out through virtual and physical exhibitions, with the use of physical models and virtual reality (VR). Data collection will be carried out through interviews and online surveys, in order to establish the effectivity of the methods used in clarifying both objective and subjective issues to participants. The use of this experimental approach will test the hypothesis that differences in urban spatial layout can motivate different conceptualizations of space that get enhanced and made explicit, thus contributing to a design based on a participatory process, maximizing urban vitality and successful place-making.The study will start with an immersion in the case study's precedents and on other KBUD experiences, taking advantage of the material already produced by CEUCI's team and also other references. Next, the researcher will closely collaborate with students involved in the process of modeling the area and preparing materials for exhibitions and for the participatory process. Surveys will be prepared and approved in the local ethics committee. Finally, data on the results will be collected analyzed collectively with the project team, and published.As a result, we expect to contribute to the public's understanding of different aspects of the project, such as landscape visualization, environmental sustainability, urban vitality, ease of mobility and others. We also expect to contribute to other urban fringe KBUD projects through the systematization of our method. The results will also serve as a useful register of the process for further studies on the project and on the area.

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