Immersive Virtual Reality In Landscape Planning

In Norway there has been an increased focus on participatory planning the latter years. The public is now supposed to be included in the planning process. The documents which the public have access to usually consists of the project`s technical drawings. In some cases, the documents include perspective drawing or computer rendering supplied by the stakeholder. Most affected parties are non professional in terms of planning, and have little or no experience dealing with the plans. Therefore, the information they rely on most cases is the perspective images, which easily can be manipulated. A system that enables all parties engaged in the planning process to visualize planning scenarios in a much realistic way is therefore needed. Virtual Reality is a tool that enables the viewer to move freely in a three dimensional digital environment. In this virtual world, different levels of interactivity can be added. The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) has recently installed a new immersive Virtual Reality system based on the idea of ConCave theatre. This research study is making use of the new ConCave theatre in order to test whether VR can be used as an enhancement of the communication process between professionals and amateurs and between professionals. By presenting digital models of different level of detail to two subject groups consisting of students with planning background and two groups without such experience we first investigated perception in an
immersive VR-environment. The respondents perceived the virtual world to be fairly realistic compared to the real world, and the immersion tools worked well in making them feel integrated in the model. We were also comparing a VR –presentation to an analogue presentation when communicating an actual building project. This test gave us an indication that a planned development is easier understood by both professionals and lay-persons when presented in an immersive virtual environment than from the technical drawings and perspective still images.

Published 5. April 2021 - 18:50 - Updated 5. April 2021 - 18:50